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XII FASHIONS (1871-1899) 

XIII FASHIONS (1900-1912) 

XIV FASHIONS (1912-1314) 

XV THE V, r AR (1914) - MODES 1914-1920 


XVII STYLES OF 1924 to 1931 


XIX STYLES, 1939 te 1945 (WORLD WAR II) 




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I have divided this resume Hi3tory of Costumes inte feur distinct 

I, Costumes of Antiquity (A.D.) which we learn were all 
more or less long tunics with draperies - Egyptian, 
Assyrian, Greek, and Roman. 
2« The costumes of the early Christian Era and of the 

Middle Ages to the end of the XV Century, 
3» Renaissance up to the end of the XIX Century, when 
dress changed and its evolution brought about com- 
plete transformation 
4, This period from the end of the XIX Century is the 
one that really began in the decade 1870-1880 up to 
the present time (1953) when drastic changes of sleeves, 
skirt 8, and neckline took place alnost every year, 
along with the extraordinary advent of the new textiles, 
Frem the turn of the Twentieth Century (1900), this History of 
Costume is in the form of a diary, containing the high lights of style 
only, written in the present tense. 





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EQYFflAN COSTUME - The art and monuments of ancient Egypt picture 
the daily life and exploits of some of her great kings rather than tell 
her history connectedly, but we do know that this history goes far back 
into the past. We know, for instance, that 2054 years before Christ, 
Abraham and Sarah found in Egypt a high state of civilization. Histor- 
ians tell us that the Egyptians were a tall, slender people resembling 
the present natives of Nubia, had broad shoulders, long muscular arms, 
rather long, delicate hands, and had d^rk hair. They seem to have gone 
barefoot and they wore wigs. The British Museum possesses original ones 
made of real hair which were worn by the upper class. Wigs for the 
lower class were made of wool. Whether Egyptian ladies as v. ell as 

the men wore wigs or braided their hair we do not know so certainly. 

We do know that the Egyptians were fond of dress and paid a great 
deal of attention to the care and adornment of their bodies. The ex- 
cavations of 1912 by Dr. Reisner (paintings by Joseph Linden Smith) 
brought to light a large number of Egyptian statues and other objects 
that added precious wealth to the study of Egyptian art and history. 
From such statues in the great museums of the world -*e have a fair idea 



V i 


of what people wore during the brilliant dynasty founded by Tholmee I. 
Both sexes seem to have worn the same type of garment. The costume seems 
to have consisted of four different modes - the tunic, the robe, the skirt 
(usually finely pleated) with or without a cape in the style of a shawl or 
drapery. The earliest type seems to have been the tunic, then the robe 
and skirt, and last, appears the draped shawl. 

The materials of their dress were linen and cotton. Sometimes this 
was of a muslin so fine as to be transparent. This muslin was similar 
to that made by the tribes of the earliest period. The tunic or dress 
was generally long but sometimes short in front and often trimmed with 
fringe. White was the favorite color although other tints were used. 
With these costumes the Egyptians wore a profusion of jewelry, of which 
the Boston Art Museum possesses a wonderful collection. Judging from 
these exhibits their jewelry ^as very beautiful and some of it ex^isite- 
ly delicate in design. It is interesting to note that this ancient 
Egyptian jewelry has inspired in large measure our modern costume jewelry. 


GREEK COSTUME - The Greek Costume remains about the most artistic 
dress in history. It was simple in lines, but the elegance of its 
draperies cannot be surpassed even today. 

In their costume, as in their decoration, the Greeks achieved the 
maximum of symmetry arid proportion. They considered the care of their 
bodies the main preparation for dress. Hygiene being an important facto 
in their lives, after a daily bath the Greek women, and also the men, 
used fragrant oils and other perfumes profusely. 

Their garments, which were based on the circle and the rectangle, 
were gracefully draped around their perfectly developed figures with 
thoughtful consideration. The materials usually woven by the Greek 
women were mostly wool and flaxen stuff dyed various colors. 

Jewelry, worn with considerable limitation, consisted of brace- 
lets, pins, necklaces, and mitres for the hair. The headdress w,as a 
aort of cap held with a band. Their long braided hair fell in the back. 







ROMAN_GOSTUME - The Toga was the national costume of the Romans 
who preferred sumptuousness to the real beauty of line and grace. It 
was made mostly of wool which was dyed many beautiful shades of blue, 
green, yellow, and red, but the Tege was also often worn in its natural 
yellowish color or sometimes bleached. 

Their jewels consisted of necklaces, bracelets, and rings which were 
made of gold and silver, and even of the base metals; semi-precious stones 
were sometimes used. However, their jewels emphasized the rank of the 
women who wore them. A difference in the hair-do was also noticed be- 
tween the classee, as the slave wore their hair short while the high clsss 
ladies kept their hair very long. 










MEROVINGIAN, V CENTURY - Historians tell us that the costumes generally 
worn by women of that time were rather simple in lines, but very often made 
of rich material and fine tissue. Veils continued to be in favor - noble 
ladies wore long ones; while women of lower rank, short. The gowns almost 
touched the ground; the sleeves were tight fitting on the first tunic, but 
large ones were worn on the outer garment. Textiles and fabrics were woven 
in attractive patterns, mostly symbolic in nature, and dyed various gorgeous 
hues, rather vivid, such as red, blue, and purple. 

The name "Merovingian" comes from King Merovee who reigned over the 
Salrennes tribes from 448 to 458, and who also gave his name to the first 
dynasty of French kings. However, Clovis (481-511) is considered the real 
founder of the first dynasty which lasted until 752. During that period 
dress was regulated by the rank of the people. No one of the lower classes 
followed the style of dress worn by the nobles whose costumes, made of beautiful 
fabrics, were elaborately embroidered. A person of nobility always had a 
purse attached to her belt into which she kept the money to be distributed to 
the poor. It is to be noted that long hair at that time was a sign of royal 
authority, the lower classes being forced to cut their hair, at least in the back. 




CAROLINGD N - VIII Century - King Charlemagne (Emperor of the Orient) 
is often represented on pictures in sumptuous attire, but, as a matter of fact, 
he condemned extravagance and luxury, protesting severely against the marked 
excess of rich materials worn by his noblemen on all occasions. 

Women's dress continued to be siraole in lines but elaborately embroidered, 
the material often transparent, and long enough to conceal the feet. It is 
said that one of the King's (Chp.rlemf.grre) daughters was lame; hence the reason 
for the extreme length of women's skirts. The fashion of veils continued to 
be in favor for all classes of women, long ones by the nobles and shorter ones 
by the lower classes. 

The following anecdote may show how that great king condemned extravagance. 
One day, he invited a group of noblemen to go hunting with him. They all came 
dressed in exquisite garments of fine materials trimmed with peacock feathers. 
He was simply attired with a lambskin coat. He then led them among branches 
and thorns; consequently, their lovely mantles were all torn and spoiled by 
the rain that unfortunately fell in torrents to add to their troubles. Ctrarremagn* 
comfortably dressed for that occasion, showed them how foolish they had been to 
come to the hunt attired as they were. His reign brought about a period of 
simple living in every phase of life. All the various tribes living on the 
Continent of Europe, also in England, dressed similarly; the rank of the wearer 
regulated the type of garment for both men and women. Certain inventions, 
such as the cane, date back to that great Monarch. 

CAPETIAN COSTUME - X Century - After the reign of Charlemagne, the whole 
style of dress changed and splendor was quite obvious, even in the manner of 
living. The name "Capetian" originally came from the French king's name, 
Hugues Capet, who reigned from 987-996. 



1 1 


The Capetian costume of both men and women resembled a mantle worn 
over a long dress with a low belt, a garment called the "Cotte-hardie" was 
practically the same for both men and women, the only difference being that 
it opened on one side for the man, and in front for the women. Ouite remark- 
able as a change was the V-neck replacing the high neckline. As for the 
sleeves, they were long and tight fitting. The close fitting band around 
the head held the veil in place. A long braid of hair falling over the 
left shoulder, was the general style of coiffure which was regulated by the 
nobility who still dressed in an entirely different manner from the lower 
classes. It is said that wooden shoes were replaced by softer leather ones, 
often adorned with gold buckles, which were also placed on the garments of 
the high class people. 


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XI CENTURY - Simplicity of costume during the first part of this period 
exemplified the great misery existing in France at that time (famine of 1033) 
and the trend of costume in general (even in other parts of Europe) followed 
the same lines as during the Capetian epoch - long dresses, long sleeves, 
V-neck, low belts. For the men, the two tunics that had been worn in the 
preceding century continued to be in favor, and the mantles were nearly 
always trimmed with fringe. However, certain luxuries such as gold clasps, 
precious stones for the belt, also gold "galloons" on their shoes, remained 
as characteristics/of a gentleman's attire. 

Because of the love of finery and personal appearance, even eardrops and 
pendants of gold attached to their mantle were often observed among the 
higher class. 

The good King, Robert II of France (the Pious King, 996-1031), often 

invited beggars to a feast of some kind. These poor men, under the table as 

was the custom then, were enjoying what was given to them. One day, by 

accident, one of these unfortunate "guests" cut the fringe of the royal mantle 

-with his knife; historians tell us that the King smiled and said, "Please do 

not cut all of my fringe, leave some for your companions to cut," 

Later, the Normans who followed William the Conqueror (1066) in England, 
changed the simple lines of dress to a different style with more variety and 
elegance, such as the beautiful draperies adopted by the Norman ladies. Clothes 
became also more comfortable as the shoulders and bust were unrestricted. Fall- 
ing in graceful folds around the legs, skirts were still very long. 



XII CENTURY (Louis VI, 1108) - With the advent of a certain Bourgeois 
class and the great movement of the Crusades which had already begun (year 1096), 
the tendency toward the unrelaxing of various rules affected all classes of 
society, and costumes for both men and women underwent a complete change. 

The symbol of the cross was seen everywhere on garments; this remarkable 
ornament was white, red, or green, according to the national taste of the 
wearer. People looked uncomfortable dressed "a la mode", and the complete 
attire of women was rather stiff worn over an undergarment called "corse" 
(laced in back). It was during that time, however, that a marked modesty 
overtook women who wore a guimpe to hide their bust, appearing more like nuns 
than ladies of leisure. Noticeable as another interesting feature was the 
parti-colored sleeves which were green and red on white tunics. 

From the East, rich colorful materials were imported, velvets, silks, 
cloth woven with gold and silver threads in beautiful and artistic patterns. 
A certain dignity of attitude disclosed itself as the Byzantine modes were 
introduced and generally accepted. But the marked extravagance of the people 
caused the clergy to protest. The long hair of men (who resembled women), was 
also condemned by the church authorities. Men often wore white while women 
chose among a wider range of colors - blue, yellow, red, or orange. Artistic 
designs as a border, offered a pleasing effect on the mantle called pallium. 

XIII CENTURY (St. Louis IX, 1226-1270) - A whole volume might be written 
about Louis IX and his wonderful reign, directly or indirectly linked with the 
mode of dress for both men and women, civil, military, and religious. An 
important factor remains in the competition that began among all classes of 
society. Everyone enjoyed dressing up; even peasants delighted in wearing 
various costumes during the performance of their duties. Skirts, each one 




more elaborate in its style than the other, were called "cotte" and "surcot". 
From the belt a purse was hung with money to be distributed to the poor, and 
women* s skirts still trailed the ground. 

Women f s hair was brought to the back in a ''chignon" entirely covered with 
a fine net, and veils were still in favor among the nobility. A most interesting 
feature of that century was the price of materials which was regulated by the 
authorities in three definite rates, 25-cents an aune (equal to 46 inches) was 
considered a fair orice for Lords and very high class people; 18-cents for the 
lower nobility; while 16-cents an aune was the maximum peasants and the lower 
class were allowed to pay. Social distinction could be observed by the general 
attire of the people. 

XIV 3EHTURY (Louis X-1314) - As we discuss the important characteristics 
of this period, the refinement that both men and women exercised in the choice 
of their costume makes this era all the more interesting. It was also during 
this epoch that women's dress underwent a great cnange from that of the men's. 
The beauty of the small waist was discovered by the French ladies who began 
tight lacing their stiff corset that had just been invented - (it is said that 
the British were responsible for this innovation) a mode that was copied by 
every European nation. Bather full, and falling gracefully in folds, the 
skirts were a little shorter, showing a pointed shoe made of rich material. 
The coat-of-arms of both father and husband were elaborately embroidered on 
the skirts, and a gown always had two pairs of sleeves trimmed with fur like 
the bodice (generally ermine), the first pair being tight fitting, whereas the 
other was wide and lined with contrasting colored fabric. Because of this 
expensive style the price of a second pair was often discussed among members 
of the family. Adorned with gold and silver embroidery, enriched with precious 
stones, the belts proved to be a very costly and extravagant fashion. Men nearly 
always designed their wives' dresses. It is said that the British were blamed 
for introducing all that luxury into France. ^ 

With long hair over their shoulders, women completed their hairdo with a 
jewelled band similar to the belts of their dresses, A decolletage rather 
low and generally round featured the neckline. The rich tissues beautifully 
dyed orange, peacock blue, red and yellow, continued to be used profusely. 

XV CENTURY (Charles VII-1422) - In spite of the British occupation of 
France and the hundred year war, no one seemed to have lost his love and 
interest in clothes. Both men and women rivalled in their extravagance, but 
women surprised the men with the originality of their headdress. Necklaces 
were a part of women's costumes, and trimmings still consisted of fur (ermine), 
a fichu of muslin, and the gorgeous belt worn during the end of the XIV Century. 

However, the most important part of a costume was the atrocious head 
covering known as the "Hennin" and the "Scoff ion" composed of a round or conical 
shaped wire frames over which a long veil spread out. These ridiculous fashions, 
though severely criticised by the church authorities, continued until the end 
of the Century when more practical and modest ones replaced these eccentricities. 
It is said that they were designed by a French lady (jJgnes Sprel, surnamed 
"La Dame de Beaute" (Lady of Beauty). The good influence that she exercised 
on Charles VII is an historic fact pertaining to that period and its Monarch 
whose reign cannot very well be forgotten. 

Shoes for both men and women were still narrow, pointed, and extremely un- 
comfortable, but people walked as little as possible, except the peasants and 
the lower classes whose manner of dress scarcely changed through the centuries. 
The Transition Period brought about many drastic changes in dress and in the 
general mode of living. 

Toward the end of the XV Century, women's desire to appear at their best 
in all circumstances made them dress so elaborately at the time of childbirth, 
that people laughingly mentioned the fact that a young mother looked more like 
an "idol" attired in such a strange costume. Dressed with a gorgeous bed 


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jacket, trimmed with gold and silver embroidery, she wore a fantastic head- 
dress. Gold necklace and bracelet completed that unusual "toilette". Both 
men and women endeavored to surpass each other in the splendor of their par- 
ticular attire. Lace, which had been used since the XIII Century, became 
a favorite trimming. Beautifully designed handmade lace of fine linen 

threads was made in Italy (its birthplace), Spain, Flanders, France and 
England. Several novelties such as the parasol, the fan, and the silk rib- 
bon, appeared during the beginning of this epoch. 

The Fine Arts, always closely related to the evolution of the fashions 
continued to progress as the Renaissance period drew near, and many painters 
were already famous - Fra Filip£<>Lippi (1406-1469), Ghirlandajo (1449-1498), 
Botticelli (1447-1510), Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), Andrea del Sarto 
(1486-1531), etc., in Italy; Jan Van Eyck ( ? -1440), Van der Weyden(1400 - 
1464), in Flanders: also others in various countries of Europe. 



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C hapter four 





Costumes in Europe - Costume Transformation (Charles VIII 1483) 

The Renaissance (Francois I 1515) Charles IX 1560 

End of XVIth Century - Henry IV of France. 


Of all the historic periods of civilization, the most important is 
without any doubt the "Renaissance" in Europe. The end of the XVth 
Century which is called the Transition period marled an era never to be 
forgotten. The remarkable a^rt movement influenced the modes of clothes 
for both men and women, and the drastic changes that occurred in the 
manner of dress were outstanding through the entire XVIth Century. 

In France, immediately after the death of Louis XI (1487), 
simplicity that had been noticed during the reign of that monarch, was 
replaced by new and original lines. Eccentricities were joyfully put 
aside for more graceful effects. The gowns were quite elegant with long- 
waisted bodices rather than decolletage (low neck) and very full skirts 
looped up in a pretty fashion. Embroidery and jewels were occasionally 
placed on all parts of the costume. 

It was Charles VIII (1483) who revolutionized the French modes 


after his trip to Italy where he was deeply impressed with the beauty and 
charm of the Italian ladies, whose attire was the most artistic in Europe. 





We are fortunate indeed to have the many superb portraits by Italian masters 
who left a wealth of material for historians to draw from. However, as 
the period advanced, extravagance and exaggeration gradually grew, and 
edicts were published to regulate dress; velvet and silk were forbidden to 
certain classes of society, but orders were ignored, and excess continued. 
However, until 1526 women's attire followed more or less certain modes 
of the preceding century, and some of the colors remained practically 
the same. 

As the King of France, Francois I, displayed a love of luxury 
equalled only to his fondness for art, costumes for both men and women 
underwent remarkable changes, especially during the last years of his 
reign. Two distinct periods (for clothes) marked the reign of that 
great monarch. His Court was brilliant and details on women's dress 

increased as the years passed. 
A lady's toilette required quantities 
of jewels. Contrary to the first 
period when many women abstained from 
wearing too many jewels and were even 
averse to low neck lines, the decolletage 
became so low as to be immodest; the 
necklaces and jewels were worn in pro- 





Francois I is known as the King who so encouraged the fine arts 
as to bring into France some of the best Italian artists, da Vinci, 
Cellini and Titian, whose beautiful portrait of Francois I hangs in 
the Louvre Museum in Paris. To that famous King is also attributed 
the progress of the extraordinary period of the Renaissance movement. 
Many odd, but considered smart, innovations took place during the reign 
of that remarkable monarch, and credit is given to one of his "favorites" 
(La Belle Ferroniere). The small cap-shaped head dress finished in a 
point with the precious stone hanging on the forehead, which was inspired 
from Brittany T s fashion, and both men and women's costumes became full 
of details complicated and still rather inspired by art. Bright hues, 
such as crimson, scarlet, and even orange, embroidered in gold and silver 
were characteristic of that era. Shoes were generally made of velvet or 
silk to match the gown. 

Later, however, women's dress changed to more elaborate lines, 
so exaggerated as to become grotesque. With a shorter bodice, the skirt 
was fuller all around and worn over an extremely large crinoline made of 
steel and whalebone - a silhouette far from resembling the beautiful 
lines that characterized the Greek and Roman garment. The Basquine 
(overtrimmed skirt) and the Vertugade (hoop) may be classed as the most 
important parts of a woman's underclothes. These were made of lovely 
taffeta, often elaborately embroidered. It was due to this very large 
skirt worn then that a noble lady saved her cousin's life when he took 
refuge under this unusual garment (he was to be executed if found alive). 
The style of the ruff attributed to Catharine de Medici (wife of Henry II) 
became an extremely popular fashion; it was adopted not only in France 

and other countries of the Continent, but in England where the Court of 
Elizabeth could not be surpassed in splendor. There were also Spanish 
capes and standing collars lavishly trimmed with beautiful handmade lace. 
A kerchief called "Georgia" was occasionally used to cover the shoulders, 
'with these ruffs so high and stiff and apparently so much in the way, 
especially at meal time, people wondered how the Queen could possibly 
eat her soup comfortably. But one day, after hearing considerable gossip 
on that subject, she gave a dinner. 7/hen the servant brought in the 
"potage" she ordered a spoon with an extremely long handle, then demon- 
strated how easily she could manage to do away with France* s favorite 
dish (soup) without spilling a drop on her "fraise" ruff. 

French ladies copied more or less 
the Italian styles which were in- 
fluenced by art. But the "Vertugadin" 
(hoop) came from Spain and caused 
no end of comment and sarcastic 
remarks. However, in spite of 
criticism, extravagance and luxury 
Continued for a long period of time. 
Dress was regulated by law and 
edicts were published by Henry II 
with detailed regulations about gowns, 
head dress, wired sleeves, quality of material, jewels and precious stones, 
and also in regard to the propriety of dress for each class of society. 
The feminine Bourgeois class protested against these severe court orders, 
which were considered rather unfair. Under this King other edicts against 


importation were published in order to protect French manufacturers. No 
one but a Princess could wear such hues as crimson; even maids-of-honor 
were restricted in the choice of colors and of their clothes in general. 
As for the working women, silks a.d velvets were absolutely forbidden. 

Under Charles IX (1560) severe edicts were renewed, but these 
rules were constantly broken and luxury continued for both sexes. All 
kinds of innovations marked that period of extravagance, among which the 
pocket for the watch recently invented, was placed. 

Women's skirts were fuller and trailing in the back. The smaller 
the weist the better, to render the straight front "de rigueur'' then, 
women used an ivory or wooden flat stick (lame) like a bone in front of 
their waist. In spite of the extreme discomfort, ladies would not be 
without it; they were willing to suffer in order to look as tney should 
"a la mode"; even men wore corsets. 

Henry III (1574) - /-ll these extravagant modes of this period are 
immortalized by toe wonderful painting "Noces du due de Joyeuse" (at the 
Louvre in Paris). Men and women were both exaggerated in all these details 
of their "toilette." 

Women's bodice finished in a longer point in front had a square 
decolletage rather low with enormous sleeves; epaulettes emphasized the 
width of the shoulders. The skirts, however, closed in front, were 
shorter. The "f raise" (ruff) of lace was extremely high in the back. 
pll that extravagance was blamed on the celebrated Princess Marguerite de 
Valois (Henry II 's daughter) who surpassed everyone in her choice of 
fabrics and trimmings. She really designed her clothes and led the 
fashion for other women. 

END OF THE XVI th CENTURY - When Henry IV (1589) ascended the throne 
of France, h& immediately condemned all that extravagance characteristic 
of the previous period. His love of simplicity caused the reaction that 
occurred in the costumes of both men and women. This great King rejoiced 
in re pea ting the historic comment: "My predecessors have given you words 
only with their fine clothes, but with my gray outfit, T am all gold 
within." The extreme poverty of the population at that time was so great 
as to prompt a certain reserve among men and women of the upper class 
in exhibiting too much extravagance. It is even said by historians that 
any of the lower class trying to follow and imitate the styles of the 
noble was Severely punished by their own class. Ruffs, full skirts, 

lace, etc., were torn to pieces by 
enraged companions. Simplicity was 
supposed to be the keynote of that 
particular time. 

The fashions, however, were 
still lavishly trimmed ?rith lace and 
made of gorgeous materials, colorful 
and elegant. The importance of 
beautiful fabrics prompted a Frenchman 
by the name of GayQtte to introduce 
a silk woven with gold threads (silk 
was being manufactured in Lyons, France). 
Henry IV rewarded him for his innova- 
tion by giving him a noble title. 


Colors were varied and numerous with several tones in one costume. 
The skirts were still very wide and held with the hoop. High collars 
of lace were worn until the end of the Century. Venetian and Florentine 
lace became "a la mode"; in fact it was so much in demand that their 
importation was forbidden to protect the French industry. Hairdo varied 
in style and curls were kept in place with a kind of mucilage. 









THIRD PERIOD ,( Cont'd/ 

Costume of the TrT7T T CENTURY ( 16 JO) . Styles of the Courts 
(France and England). Costume of the Pilgrims in .America. 
Lace Manufacturing in Europe. Variety of Trimmings. 
Louis XIV (France). 


This series marks an epoch entirely different from the previous one. 
By the time Louis XIII (1810) ascended the throne of France, the general 
lines of women's dresses had gone through , remarkable alterations. Though 
still rich and elegant, the stiffness was replaced by soft and graceful 
lines, and the silhouette differed considerably. The front opening of 
the skirt, still full and long, offered a chance to show an underskirt 
of different fabric adorned with embroidery and elaborate trimming. 

The dignified look of women's gowns proved to be a contrast to the 
previous century's grotesque attire. The bodice, finished in a point 
but shorter, emphasized the tight lacing practiced then by all the ladies 
of quality. As the time passed, the collar, still quite high, was shaped 
like a fan. The sleeves, cut lengthwise, were rather puffy and adorned 
with bows of ribbon. 

As far as America was concerned, the first settlers who came in 
1620 dressed in the general European fashion. We quite often see a 



picture of the Puritan maiden dressed in grey - as a matter of fact, this 
is more or less exaggerated. Very simple in lines, its styles followed 
the silhouette of the period. Toe material was homespun, the skirts 
were full and long, generally looped up on the sides and back to show a 
petticoat of a fabric called Linsey-woolsey. 

There were very few colors used by our Puritan ancestors - chiefly 
brown and purple. But many reproductions of the period also show various 
other shades, such as crimson and blue. 

elaborate clothes were soon adopted by both sexes, and French styles 
were very popular. The men, especially, were vain in the matter of clothes 
and it is most amusing to read descriptions of men's attire in the pub- 
lished letters of that memorable epoch. £s for frivolity, American men 
were not different from their European brothers. The collar and cuffs 
for both men and women were made of Holland linen. For women a hood of 
silk Qir wool was generally worn with the outdoor costume. Strong shoes 
with wooden heels and woolen stockings were characteristic of the times. 

In France, the love of dress and finery continued in spite of edicts 
published by the King (Louis XIII). Fashion had brought about many whims 
such as the "Mouche" (a black patch) placed on women's faces. Sometimes 
a smal-l black mask was added to attract men's attention. Perfume was 
used extensively, also jewels were worn in profusion. Men also wore lace 
on their collars and tied their long hair with colored ribbons. 

Cardinal Richelieu, so important at the Court of France, did not 
approve of all this extravagance, and in 1633 Louis XIII issued a severe 
edict condemning women for their coquetry. Then followed a remarkable 



demonstration which was called "Pompe Funebre de la Mode" (fashion's funeral). 
A radical change occurred which gave fashion more moderate styles. 

LOUIS XIV (1643). There was at that time in France a strong desire 
for a change of style, not so much because of the inconsistency of the 
Court coquetry, but also for the reason that various phases of European 
civilization had changed considerably. So, during the reign of that great 
King, dress gradually regained its splendor and surpassed other periods. 

We are fortunate, indeed, that authentic information in regard to 
the styles, fabrics, and colors, of that remarkable epoch are furnished by 
the many illustrations (many portraits) that we find in the records of 
that time. 

Elegance in clothes for both men and women attained a high degree 
of gorgeousness, although feminine costumes, as a whole, affected a 
certain simplicity of lines. The skirts gracefully draped without hoops, 
were full, long, and trailing to the ground in the back only. Materials 
were rich, brocaded, and woven beautifully in artistic designs. Ribbon 
was everywhere and bows adorned the puffy effect of the skirt and sleeves. 
Two kinds of fabric and several tones were often used in one gown. The 
principal colors were green, yellow, blue, rose, lavender, orange and 
grey. The decolletage, not so low, varied in the style - round, square, 
and pointed - and the large collar partly covering the shoulders, was an 
innovation of the King's mother (Anne of Austria). 

Lace became a very important decoration on clothes of both sexes. 
Sponsored by Colbert (Minister of Finance) a factory of that delicate 
trimming was opened in Paris in 1665. The French laces were so exquisite 


in design that they vied with those made in Belgium and Italy. The Alencon 
Point and Valencienne, which were expensive, caused cheaper ones to be put 
on the market, as everyone wanted their clothes adorned with lace. The 
towns that manufactured these were principally Alencon, Chateau-Thierry 
and Aurillac. 

The most interesting feature of Madame f s toilette was her hairdo 
which changed from time to time. Curls and wigs appeared along with the 
rouge that caused quite a sensation. Toward the end of Louis XIV 1 s reign, 
an original coiffure called "fontange" became the favorite among the 
ladies of the Court. The name came from Mademoiselle de Fontange whose 
hair became loose by accident during a hunting party. She conceived the 
idea of tying her curls with a ribbon and wear her hair in that fashion, 
which was immediately followed by other women. 

The majority of ladies' gowns were made by men couturiers. 

It is interesting to note that during that memorable epoch everyone 
wanted to look older in order to give an impression of wisdom. 




G H A ?Jf & n R 81 X 





THIRD PERIOD t ( Cont ' d ) 

Costumes of the XVIII Century (1700 to 1789) French, English 
and Colonial Modes. The Paniers, Extravagance of the 
XVIII Century. Styles of Sleeves, Coiffures. 


REGENCY AND LOUIS XV (France). Under several and various influences 
fashion changed rapidly, so much so that writers ridiculed these numerous 
new styles as the worst influence of the period. The difference from 
other epochs of history was the fact that everyone wanted to be well 
dressed, and confusion often existed in the case of a servant being taken 
for the master. The working class had reached a state of extravagance 
never attained before. Personal appearance seemed to have been the main 
characteristics of the time for both men and women. However, masculine 
attire suffered a change, lace and ribbons were given up. 

The skirts were full and puffed up in what was called the "panier" 
which dates back to 1718, although it is said to have been worn by the 
British ladies several years before, under the name of "hoop-petticoat." 
However, it is also mentioned that the theatre was actually responsible 
for that original mode. The panier, made over a foundation of whalebone 
tied with ribbon, was first worn by the upper class only, but, by a happy 
and much cheaper invention of the "foundation" by a French dressmaker, 




the lower class very soon copied the style sponsored by tKe Court. The 
entire feminine costume was a most elaborate affair, even the corset was 
trimmed with little bouquets of flowers. 

Modes continued to be extravagant and complicated until the end of 
~ Louis XV* s reign. Lace collars, sometimes even fur collars, were worn 
during the Summer. 

Until 1750, the hair had been worn low and generally powdered, 
but that style failed to last and a high hairdo appeared, forming a sort 
of crown around the forehead. Rather plain in back, the headdress, 
called a "crete", made of ribbon, was added to Madame* s coiffure. 
Bonnets were the most popular headgear and were followed later by straw hats. 

Make-up was generally worn by the majority of women; very few were 
opposed to this mode as no one wanted to look pale. This style became 
somewhat exaggerated, however, to the point of applying cosmetics to a 
corpse, as in the case of Henrietta (Louis XV s daughter). 

LOUIS XVI (1774) - It is to be presumed that Marie Antoinette led 
a style considered rather exaggerated and complicated. The King was very 
fond of simplicity, but the women of the Court intrqduced habits of 
extravagance which were followed throughout the country. The lower classes 
continued to imitate the nobility, and the. wife of a clerk or even of a 
butcher could easily be taken for a lady of the higher class, hence the 
general sumptuousness that marked the years before the French Revolution. 
The ordinary Frenchman felt that as long as he had paid his taxes, he 
should feel free to dress as he liked, and even run himself into debt 
if he so desired. 



The hoop had returned in different forms, also the dresses without 
a belt which were really the Watteau style. The "panier" continued to be 
featured on dressy frocks, and the "polonaise", a short skirt composed 
of three parts, made its appearance. Toward the end of the period, 
English styles were brought into France. Inspired from the masculine 
sttire, these modes were more or less tailor-made, although frills and 
furbelows failed to disappear entirely. "Robe a l^nglaise", composed 
of a short waist, low neck, and closed in front, the skirt deprived of 
trimming, was opened in front to show an underskirt occasionally trimmed. 
Revers and collars were also most fashionable. 

Headdress changed constantly, and a milliner called Mile. Bertin, 
created models, following to a certain extent the taste of idarie Antoinette. 

It is almost to be regretted, however, that a record of such 
ridiculous fashion was kept, as the height of the absurd was attained by 
ladies of the Court. Their coiffure was extremely high, adorned with as 
many as six plumes* I lowers, fruit, even birds, were often used; sometimes 
a miniature boat was perched on top of tnis strange "chapeau. " It is 
said that when the Queen appeared among the people one could hardly dis- 
tinguish her features almost hidden by her elaborate headdress. 

As the Revolution was approaching, luxury failed to diminish in any 
way in spite of the extreme poverty of the lower classes. 

American Costume . Various modes reached America, and women of the 

colony dressed gorgeously. The fichu remained in style for a long period 

of time. It is said that both George and Martha Washington were fond of 

fine clothes. To realize how well American ladies of quality dressed, we 

have only to look at the portraits painted by American artists of that time 

which emphasise the rich material, brocades, silks and satin, imported from 

Europe and China. The undergarment (petticoat) made of fine linen was 

elaborately trimmed with ruffles. The headgear was a hat worn over a cap. 
Shoes were rather fancy with high heels. 3^ 


THIRD_PERIOD ( C o nt . ) 

* \ 



Costumes during the French Revolution and the Directoire Period. 
Martha v/ashington (1789-1797) Eccentricities in Dress. 
Designers of Clothes (France) Abigail Smith Adams (1797-1801) 


During the reign of terror, the patriots in revolt against the 
luxurious and extravagant living of the upper classes, took advantage of 
their influence in bringing about the drastic change that occurred in the 
general mode of dress. Tailor-made effect was emphasized and all frills 
and fullness in the skirts disappeared to be replaced by narrower and 
plainer ones; all adornment being entirely discarded. Very soon, however, 
the revolutionist clubs became greatly concerned in the matter of clothes, 
and it was even rumored that the Greek and Roman lines might be copied. 
But Louis David, a designer of high reputation, was given the responsibility 
of creating the right costume, practical and comfortable. 

With the Directoire period (1795 to 1799), black, which had been the 
popular color, was soon replaced by more vivid hues, such as rose, green, 
white with colored stripes, etc. Interest in clothes was revived, and 
love of finery and luxury prevailed in all classes of society. A marked 
exaggeration in every phase of women's attire went so far as to inspire 
several cartoonists, and these ladies of the Directoire period were called 
"merveilleuses" as a sort of sarcastic soubriquet. 







f * 

Tn 1796, a fashion magazine was edited by a man named Selleque. 
This publication called "Le Journal des Dames et des Modes" was acclaimed 
with enthusiasm. Feminine costume was quite graceful, but the skirts 
were extremely narrow, the silhouette being called "Umbrella cover silhouette." 
Made of thin fabric, often transparent, the frocks were worn over a tight- 
fitting chemise only. The reason may have been economy, but it was also 
the desire of showing the lovely feminine figure. 

The range of color became wider, but the favorite tones were 
lavender and yellow. 

With the end of the Directoire period, no radical change in the 
fashions for both sexes marked the termination of that remarkable era. 
The beginning of The Consulate (1799 to 1804) was to have a leader of styles 
in the person of Josephine Bonaparte. 







A few words of explanation seem apropos in regard to the dresses which 
form a valuable collection in the National Museum at Washington, D. C. 
commonly known as Smithsonian Institution. 

The precious heritage is composed of thirty-five manikins, representing 
the many interesting ladies who have gracefully presided as hostesses of the 
white House during the Administration of thirty-three Presidents of the United 
States. These figures are dressed in the gowns the First Ladies wore at 
their husband's inauguration or at certain other important social functions 
held at the Executive Mansion. Only through numerous and strenuous efforts 
were these gowns obtained, for some had almost disappeared. 

This unusual assemblage was first shown to the public during Taft's 
Administration, although the Smithsonian Institution itself dates back to 1846. 

The First Ladies of the Land may not have been lea.ders of fashion and 
style, but they all dressed fashionably following European modes as much 
as it was possible. Curiously enough, down the years, one detail of dress, 
the Marie Antoinette fichu, seems to have been a perennial favorite with 
White House ladies. The majority of these gowns are made of rich materials 
suggesting the wealth and prosperity of the Nation, and often set a precedent 
for a certain color. Also, some of those First Ladies introduced a new 
style of hairdo. 





MARTHA Dandridge Curtis Washington 

1789 - 



Abigail Snith Adams 

1797 - 



Martha Jefferson Randolph 

(Jefferson's daughter) 

1801 - 



Dorothy P&yne Todd-Madisan 

1809 - 



Elizabeth Kcrtright Monroe 

1817 - 


Maria Hester Monroe Gouverneur 

(Daughter of President Monroe) 

1817 - 


£ /i 

Louisa Catherine .TnVirmnn Ari&m« 

1825 - 


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Emily Donelson (Niece of Mrs Tacirsnn^ 

1829- 1836 


Sarah Yorke Jackson 

1836 - 



Sarah Angelica Singleton Van Buren 

1838 - 



Jane Irwin Findlay 
(Mrs. Janes Findlay) 



Julia Gardiner Tyler 

1844 - 



Sarah Childress Polk 

1845 - 



Betty Taylor Bliss (Dandridge) 

1849 - 


Abigail Powers Fillmore 

1850 - 



Jane Appleten Pierce 

1853 - 



11 cl I ri"u AjclllG (J UIlllO u un 

1857 - 



M^ry Todd Lincoln 

1861 - 



Martha Johnson Patterson 

1865 - 



Julia Dent Grant 

1869 - 



Lucy Webb Hayes 

1877 - 



Lucretia Rudolph Garfield 



Mary Arthur McElrey 
(president's Sister) 

1881 - 



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Frances Folsom Cleveland 


and 1893-1897 



Caroline Lavinia Scatt Harrison 




Ma^y Harrison McKee 
V President 't daughter) 




Ida Saxton McKinley 




Eaith Ker»it Carcw Roosevelt 




Helen Herron Taft 




211en Axson Wilson 




Edith Boiling Wilson 




Florence Kling Harding 




Grace Goodhue Coolidge 




Lou Henry Hoover 




Anna Eleanor Roosevelt 



Bess Wallace Truman 




Mamie Dowd Eisenhower 



Queen Elizabeth II ef England 



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MARTHA WASHINGTON -(1789 -1797) 

Before and after the American revolution, the styles that came from 
Fngland and France remained practically the same for a long time. The 
woolen tissues (cashmere mostly) and silks were exquisite, of the best 
quality. During the revolution, however, even ladies of the higher 
classes wore made-over dresses. In these days of uncertainty and 
indecision, the majority of American women knew how to use the needle in 
many different ways; they still used the spinning wheel, weaving remaining 
an important occupation of txie household. 

The French revolution (1789) interfered considerably with the 
importation of beautiful silks and velvets, hence the reason so many ladies 
wore homespon fabrics. The main adornment of a frock was the fichu which 
was made of fine muslin or lace. 

The gown on the manikin representing Martha Washington is a very 
ornate dress of salmon colored silk. The wide skirt (Marie Antoinette mode) 
is almost completely covered with well executed hand painted flower designs 
of all description symbolic of the various plants of the new Republic. 
Following the French style of the 1780 *s is a very fine muslin fichu that 
finishes the low pointed neckline. Short elbow sleeves and long gloves 
complete Martha Washington's toilette. Her hairdo is practically a lacy 
bonnet. In the matter of clothes for the feminine population of the 
United States, the main characteristic was the fine imported materials 
used profusely. The many portraits in the Museums give a splendid idea 
of the general modes of Revolutionary time. Copley, Gilbert Stuart, 
and a few other American artists have left treasures of beautifully 
executed masterpieces which remain important records of the American 
History of costumes during that particular period. 

ABAGAIL SMITH ADAMS -(1797 -1801) 

This great American lady, Abagail S. Adams, was in a general way 
much more concerned with her family and household duties than with the 
matter of clothes. However, it is said that once placed in the highest 
position as the First Lady of the Land, she expressed an astonishing remark 
that the White House should, in a certain measure, as her husband thought, 
resemble in refinement and dignity the Courts of the Continent and 

The gown which is supposed to have been worn by this very disting- 
uished mistress of the White House is quite sombre, dark blue Canton Crepe 
and made on simple lines, but of a period previous to 1797. The skirt 
is full, similar to Martha Washington's gown, but it is short, however, 
showing her yellow satin shoes. It is to be noticed that the neckline 
is in the shape of a V and adorned with an exquisite real lace (Mechlin) 
fichu terminated by a long and full lace jabot. The sleeves are puffed 
and elbow length. A double row of pearls encircles the throat. Chinese 
embroidery is the main trimming on the skirt. 


I. I 







THIRD PERIOr ( Cont'd.) 

Josephine Bonaparte as a Leader of Styles - Women's Fashions in 
the United States - Mistresses of the White House - 

Martha Jefferson Randolph (1801-1809) Dorothy Paine Todd- rr -: dison (1809-1817 ) . 


The many revolutions and wars of the end of the 18th Century had brought 
about remarkable changes in the living standard and also in the styles of dress 
for both men and women. 

French modes continued to be very much in vogue at the turn of the Century, 
and the British publications emphasized the radical changes more or less inspired 
by the Greek and Roman lines, the narrow skirt and the low decolletage. The 
queer chapeaux were as much criticized as those worn during the reign of Queen 
Kite rie-J! ntoine tte . 

Later, however, the thin and flimsy 

materials were replaced by warmer ones. Wool 

and furs featured the main modification of the 

year 1803 when a most severe epidemic of 

influenza caused Parisian women to resort to 

clothes more in keeping with the season - 

shawls and scarves appeared on the market to 

protect Madame from the cold. Not only were 

those comfortable garments worn outdoors, but 

even in the houses which were then far from 

well heated. 


. e> j j 


This peried, with Josephiae Bonaparte as the fashiea leader, gave the 
*"om«R of Fra»ce,and in almost every other country, new lines in the femin- 
iae silhouette, but the dresses were still short - showing bright colored 

artificial flowers placed everywhere oa the gowns, the demand for that 
garniture grew to such an extent that an important industry flourished by 
virtue of the popularity of that mode. 

The cashmere shawl appeared shortly after Napoleon's Egyptian expedi- 
tion, and the textiles comprised light silks, organdy, and India muslin, 
which was always embroidered, sometimes with gold and silver threads. The 
increased trade with India influenced fashion to a certain extent. Flesh 
colored cersets, underwear, stockings, and shoes, were characteristic of 
the period, as well as pantaloons under a thin muslin skirt. 

It was during that memorable era that the ladies of the Court rivalled 
with each other in the beauty of their dress, and also in the wealth of 
their jewelry. It is said that sometimes as much as 20 million francs 
(at that time 4 million dollars) worth of diamonds were worn by one of 
these ladies. This marked extravagance of Napoleon's Court was obvious 
in every form, as the men were gorgeeus uniforms as well as civilian 
costumes ef unusual elegance. v/oraea's dress often cost as much as one 
thousand dollars, and the dressmakers and tailors made fortunes. 

The styles this Empress gave the women of Europe and America surpassed 
everything worn before that time; the decolletage was cut lower and lower, 
especially in the back, showing the shoulders. She was anxious te be 

shoes - high waisted, with clinging skirts. 

Considerably adorned with 



4 I 

the most beautiful woman of any group <-tnd nearly always succeeded. Un- 
fortunately for her, Pauline Bonaparte (her siat er-in-lar) enjoyed the 
reputation of being still better looking. 

One day, Josephine gave a reception. She found out the color of 
Pauline's gown and when she heard that it was to be green, she immediate- 
ly ordered the furniture of the reception room to be upholstered in a 
color that would clash with Pauline's dress in order that she might appear 
at a disadvantage. The Emperor *s sister was not to be fooled so easily; 
she remained standing the whole evening, thus compelling the entire 
assembly to do the same. N© one sat down when the imperor's sister was 


- * v I 


(Presidents Daughter) 

It is to be regretted that no gown of the Jeffersonian period 
could be found to dress the figure representing the Mistress of the 
White House during President Jefferson's administration. All her 
dresses had been worn and used during the Civil War when the popula- 
tion of the United States was more or less deprived of imported 
silks and rich materials. But, after searching everywhere for 
some portions of her attire, a beautiful Paisley shawl was finally 
found which was sent to the Smithsonian Institution. 

Draped gracefully over the manikin's shoulders, this shawl is 

made of black wool apparently cashmere, with a border of red, green 

and blue, with tan and brown woven in an Oriental design of a date 

palm, symbolic of the renewal of life. 

The head is partly covered with a turban over a curled coiffure. 


+ 7 




It is difficult to state in an authentic manner just exactly the 
modes worn by that very popular Mistress of the White House, Dolly 
Madison surnamed "Queen Dolly", as the costume on the manikin in'the 
Smithsonian Institution is somewhat different from the Paris styles worn 
during that period. 

The yellow brocaded satin Polonaise is draped over a white satin 
underskirt, elaborately embroidered in Chinese motif decorations very 
much in vogue in the United States at that time.- the polonaise is 
edged with lace. A large cape made of lace adorns the short -waisted 
bodice, with a rather low decolietage. Long kid gloves almost reach the 
short puffy sleeves. Her hairdo is high and partly covered *rith a 
turban very much a la mode during the beginning of the 19th Century. 










(1814 - 1830| - France and England - Fashions in the United States - 
distresses of the '" r hite House - Elizabeth Kortrisrht Monroe (1817) - 
Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams (1825) - - Emily Doaelsan (1829) 


The social development that happened in France, after the fall of the 
Empire, was responsible for the various changes that occurred in the general 
styles of clothes for both men and women. It was a sort of reaction from the 
modes of the Napoleonic era. Their modifications caused the feminine style 
to be rather heavy, and there were ruffles and a great deal of trimming. The 
high waisted bodice, considered so essential to the beauty of the feminine 
silhouette, remained unchanged for years, and even the peasant and the lower 
classes followed that style. The clinging skirt, however, gave place to a 
wider and fuller jupe (skirt), with numerous plisses (plaits) reminiscent of 
the complicated modes of Louis XVth. By 1817, the waistline was lowered and 
puffy sleeves were called gigot . 

Machine laces manufactured during that period proved to be a most important 
adornment on dresses made of flimsy material. Embroidery (done by hand) still in 
vogue, gave the higher class women a chance to show their superiority of refinement. 

For casual and street wear, colors were more or less neutralized, and queer 
names were given to certain hues, such as: A light green was called crapeau mort 
d 'amour (toad dead of love); another name, Zinzoline . One wonders where the 

-:L\$b 9ftxr. ; Ji' 


inspiration for those tones came from. Combinations of terra cotta and blue, 
white, and garnet, yellow and blue (rather pale); the most popular color, 
however, was white which was worn on many festive occasions, often embroidered 
by hand, in colors principally. 

In France, with Charles X as King, styles became more elaborate and the 
skirts were like an enormous bell. Madame *s jupon literally covered with 
puffing and gathers, remained short to the instep only, and short for that 
period J This period called classical followed the influence of the theatre, 
music, and literature - 1824 fashions were inspired by novels, the most 
significant of which were "Ourika" by the Duchess of Duras, and later 
"La Dame Blanche." The decolletage was rather low and bateau-like showing 
the snoulders. 

In England, during the reign of George IVth, several changes took place 
and those original modes were called Georgian. The most remarkable was the 
reticule , a bag in which women placed their handkerchief and objects they wanted 
to carry, but the practical usage for this handbag was for money. A reticule 
adorned with significant sad pictures showing the slave trade, was sold and 
carried by the society ladies of England - a kind of philanthropic gesture to 
help in the movement of abolishing that shameful custom. What appeared then 
as a novel innovation was the pantaloons, fastened with a tape. Preferring to 

this odd style - they are occasionally 

called "Pantalettes" mentioned as long 

drawers, but the queer pantaloons were 

unique in their kind. 

An anecdote in relation to panta- 

loons is interesting to narrate: The 

name "Pantaloun" in English is "'Pantalon 


in French and "Pantalone" in Italian. 

This surname comes from ?anta!>>n, 



(Greek Doctor and Martyr Faint under Galere in 303 P>. C.) whose feast day is 

celebrated on the 27th of July. For many years °>t. Pantaleon was the patron 

Saint of Venice, until the remains of St. Marc arrived in that city. The 

surname °antalone was given to the Venitians just as we call the Americans 

"Yankees'', and when Shakespeare speaks of "the lean and slippered Pantaloon" 

in his Italian comedy, the main characteristic of that gentleman's attire was a sort o: 

full culotte , forerunner of our modern pajamas. 




r t 



The gown on tine manikin representing Mrs. James Monroe, comes from the 
Monroe collection of family treasures. It is made in what was celled then 
" r tteau style. Its gorgeousness is^mplified by the rich brocade and 
beautiful trimmings. The decolletage is rather low, and the elbow sleeves 
terminated with ruffles. The skirt is long all around with a slight train. 

Mrs. Monroe's hairdo (on her portrait) is similar to Dolly Madison* s 
coiffure, curls on her forehead. The manikin, however, wears a turban very 
much a la mode in those days. 

Having lived in °aris while her husband was United States Minister, 
Mrs. Monroe followed the French styles as soon as they arrived here in this 
country. But the style of the dress in the National Museum is not of 1817, 
It is a gown which she certainly must have worn before that period; a gown 
of 1817 was short-waisted and more like the Empire styles. That one has the 
lowered waistline and full skirt, which is rather surprising and resembles 
more the gowns of the middle of the 18th Century or of a later period - maybe 
1929 or even later. 


io ioa ex 


It is rather important that a description of the gown baring belonged 
to President Monroe's youngest daughter be included in this seriss of 
articles concerning the collection exhibited in the Smithsonian Instituts 
at Washington. 

As we know, Maria Hester Monroe became the bride (in 1820) of her 
cousin, Samuel Lawrence Geuverneur during her father's term of office. 
Soon after, the young bride often replaced her mother in receiving the 

For a certain period of time, Maria's gown was the only one in the 
National Museum to represent the Mistresses of the White House during 
President Monroe's administration, but later, howorer, a gown of her 


mother's was sent to bo exhibited 
in its right place. It was decided 
that Maria Hester Monroe Geuverneurjs 
gown would be kept as the style of 
that French Creation (1824) empha- 
sizes the very "odd modes" that re- 
placed the once popular Empire stylo. 
Fashioned of pale blue silk, this 

dress, in a certain measure, is rather 
complicated with a Watteau plaited 
back, and a puffed flounced skirt 

elaborately embroidered with straw 

(a style in vogue in the twenties). 

The low decolletage of the bodice is 
finished with lace trimming, and the 
short sleeves are adorned with blue 
and yellow bows of ribbon. 
The hair-do is composed of short curls 

almost hiding the ears. 

I V 




Mrs. Adams 1 gown resembles the French mode of the period; the skirt 
stands out and is not extremely long. Made of white tulle, it is heavi- 
ly trimmed with silver braid, over a white satin underskirt. 

The restoration period is emphasized by the round neckline, the puffy 
sleeves, the waist-line lower than the junpire style, and the lack of grace- 
ful folds so beautiful in gowns worn by Josephine and the ladies of her 

Mrs. Adams enjoyed the reputation of being very stylish and well 
dressed having lived abroad several years. 

Her hairdo is composed of neatly arranged and lovely waves, with 
* small chignon on the top of her head, one might call it a "chignon a_l» 
grecque" . 

White satin slippers reveal themselves as a prominent part of her 
costume, which might have been worn any time after her husband's inaugura- 
tion as President of the United States. 




EMILX.PQNSLSON (1829-1836) 
(President Jackson's Niecej 

The lovely frock worn by the wife of Colonel Donelson (ward and 
nephew of President Andrew Jackson) is one of the prettiest of the 
collection exhibited in the United States National Museum. 

As Mistress of the White House, the young and beautiful Mrs. 
Donelson replaced Mrs. Aadrew Jackson (wife of the President) who 
passed away a few months before the Inauguration; she presided until 
her illness in 1836. 

The style of the go*n is typical of the French Romantic Period, 
and is the first inaugural dress of the collection. The skirt is 
very full and of soft material; finished with a wide lace ruffle it is 
short, hardly touching the ground and without a train. The pointed 
basoue with a low round decolletage(ef f the shoulders) and the short 
puffy sleeves are decidedly characteristic of that era. Only a part 
of the gown, however, is authentic, the skirt having been lost in a 
studio fire where it served as a drapery. 

Mrs. Donelson's hairdo is composed of numerous puffs over the 
ears. A very choice and rather odd tortoise shell comb adorns her 
coiffure, and serves as a striking ornament. 





Elegant and graceful lines continued to be the main feature of the 
feminine silhouette, but with the skirt several inches from the ground, and 
long sleeves for casual wear. Scarves, often made of lace wound around the 
shoulders, gave women an appearance of sophistication. Sometimes an end of 
the scarf was carelessly thrown over the arm. Boas and sashes gave a note 
of chic to Madame' s toilette. 

Designers and couturiers of feminine attire often borrowed details from 
other nations - Grecian scarves, the Russian petticoat, Persian embroidered 
vests, etc. Jewelry was also inspired from various nations. 

Long sleeves were the main characteristic of a stylish frock, with the 
waistline still encircling the bustline. Many costumes show Madame f s neck 
partly hidden by a soft white ruffled muslin collar. 

There are numerous paintings to portray, in an authentic manner, the 
modes of the Napoleonic era. For example: "Le Sacre de Napoleon" by David 
(in the Louvre Museum, Paris); "Frascati" by Dubucourt, is another of the 
canvasses in which a stylish group of both men and women of 1807 is faith- 
fully represented. 

"hite, which had been so popular, was put aside for brighter hues, 
such as green, yellow, blue and mauve. Prints were also seen occasionally 
made up in morning frocks. Several colors were combined in a costume, 
such as a pale blue dress with white sleeves and an enormous yellow hat 
trimmed with roses and white lace. 

The Empire period, often known as the classical era, marked the change 
of color in the wedding gowns. The bride often chose pale colors on the 
grounds that it was really more practical to be married in yellow, blue, or 
mauve, but white was the most popular color. 

otr. stl$ 

With the change that occurred at the Court of Napoleon, Marie Louise 
replncinkthe unfortunate Josephine as Empress of France, la Mode in 1810 
remained more or less on the same lines. It may be added, however, that 
Marie Louise failed to be the fashion leader that Josephine had been. 

The Chinese parasol was all the rage, and the Maltese Cross very much 
in vogue as a decoration. 

The hairdo, composed of curls, was always partly or all covered with 
the bonnet; a couple of careless little curls disclosing themselves on the 

"11 these elegant modes reached our shore, and American women dressed 






French and American Fashions - Influence of the Romantic Era - 

The Decolletage - Bonnets - Coiffure - Muffs - Fashions of the 

Late Thirties - Mistresses of the White House - Sarah Angelica 

Van Puren (1838 - Fashions of 1840-1841-1842 - The Sewing Machine - 

Julia Gardiner Tyler (1844) - Sarah Childress ^olk (19- 5) 

Mrs. Amelia Bloomer - Abigail Powers Filmore (1850) 


In France, under King Louis Philippe (1830) la mode went through various 
modifications more or less noticeable. The dresses were considerably fuller, 
trimmed elaborately with ruffles, bows of ribbon, lace, and braid. The neck- 
line was quite often high encircling the throat - other times, the decolletage 
V-shape was quite low. The wide shoulder effect featured the smart outdoor 
costume. The main characteristic of the sleeves was the exaggerated fullness 
after having been leg-o-mutton, they became Venitian. 

The tissues were rich, but not very numerous in their varieties - silks, 
velvets, tulle, and a new kind of silk called pault de soie . 

As for colors, they remained practically the same - green, white with 

rose color or blue, garnet, yellow with combinations of several tones often 

complementary in their schemes. Example: yellow and mauve, green and pink; 

but the most popular tone arrangement was white with colored trimmings. 


By 1838, a long soft pastel/ scarf was nearly always worn with an evening gown, 
also, large collars, resembling a short cape, and occasionally scalloped or 


trimmed with bows or rosettes of ribbon covered the shoulders. Luxury of 
what was then called lingerie (underwear) reached a maximum of extravagance, 
and it seemed os if a lady's attire never had enough ruching, embroidery, braid 
and lace. 

The very wide skirts were reminiscent of the XVIIIth Century paniers . 
Never in the history of fashion had a very young girl dressed in such com- 
plicated styles. 

In 1840, the waist was still very small and pointed, the sleeves puffy 
and short, the neckline very low finished with a Bertha of reel lace. The 
skirts were full and made with flounces trimmed with lace for evening wear. 
For drytime wear (1841), a short mantle trimmed with fur and a muff of the 
same was the winter costume of a lady. The bonnet still reigned supreme 
tied under the chin with a large bow of ribbon, called bonnet Capeline ; this 
kind of chapes u helped to keep the curls in place. 



SARAH, YORKE JACKSON (18.36-1837) 

Mrs. Andrew Jack«on, Jr., was young and pretty, as well as very 
gay. Because of Emily Donelson's illness, she was called upon to 
do the honors of the White House, and later presided also at the 
"Hermitage", President Jackson's home in Tennessee where he retired. 

The gown which was presented to the National Museum (after a sug- 
gestion from Mrs. Harry Evans) is made of gauze beautifully embroidered 
in flower motifs. A white satin bodice is sleeveless, and the round 
low decolletage is finished with a bertha of real lace. Mrs. Jackson, 
Jr., had worn this gown when she was presented to Washington society, 
as a new bride. It is to be noted here that time has slightly alter- 
ed the color of that lovely wedding dress - it is now more of a deep 
creamy hue. 

Her hairdo *eems to be a "chignon a la grecque" , with long curls 
falling on each side of her neck. They are much longer, however, 
than were *orn during the Restauration, and so, also, is the skirt. 


(President's Daughter-in-Law) 1838 - 1641) 

The gown on the manikin, representing this young mistress of the "^hite 
House, is really quite handsome, made of royal blue velvet with an extremely 
wide skirt about eight yards around, and worn over a crinoline (hoopskirt). 
Sleeveless and finished around the neck with a beautiful Bertha of rare lace, 
that rich costume is one of the most stylish and elegant of the entire 
collection, and very up-to-date of that particular period. 

Her headdress is composed of curls falling 
on her neck. It is said that she always 
wore three small ostrich feathers. 

Travel from Europe was rather slow at 
that time, but there was always a constant 
intercourse between the two Continents, and 
it may be supposed that Mrs. Van Buren, 
no doubt, imported a good part of her 
wardrobe from Europe. 



Going through the long hall of the National Museum, where the collec- 
tion of dresses worn by the various hostesses of the White House form 
such an interesting exhibition, one often hears a visitor nearby remark 
"But who was Mrs. Jane Irwin Findlay?" It is true that it may seem 
strange to a foreign visitor not deeply acquainted with the history of 
our interesting First Ladies, to see a manikin representing Mrs. Findlay. 

When President William Henry Harrison was elected, hiw wife, an 
invalid, could not possibly undertake such a journey (by coach from Ohio 
to Washington), so the President invited his daughter-in-law, Jane Irwim 
Harrison, (widow of h\s son) to come to the Executive Mansion for his 
Inauguration, In those days (1841), however, a young woman never travelled 
alone, so her foster mother, Mrs. Findlay, though seventy-three years of 
age, accompanied Mrs. Harrison, Jr,, on the long voyage. 

All efforts to find a dress having belonged to Mrs. Harrison (the 
President's wife), or even one of Mrs. Harrison, 1 Jr. , were futile* Hence, 
the reason Mrs. Findlay's costume was sent and accepted to be placed among 
all the others. 

Mrs. Findlay's gown is made of brown velvet, rather plain in lines. 
It ftas a full skirt, short tight bodice, leg-o -mutton sleeves, and a moder- 
ately low square decolletage; finished with a white embroidered muslin 

It is to be added that during President Harrison's short term, Mrs, 
Findlay, being a woman of social grace and experience, was highly considered, 
and served as Hostess as often as young Mrs. Harrison, 




The style of dress on the manikin representing the First Lady of 
the Land is very up-to-date for that period. The full skirt, elabor- 
ately trimmed with three flounces, is of white gauze embroidered in sil- 
ver and various lovely colors. It looks like a gown that she probably 
had made in Paris to be presented to the French Court. The waist is 
basque style, the sleeves elbow length. There are flowers adorning the 
round neckline. A lace scarf is gracefully thrown over her shoulders. 

Her hairdo, however, seems to be a little out of the Louis Philippe 
epoch; it is just plainly separated in front and fastened somehow in the 
back without a headdress of any kind. The curls and bows of ribbcn 
were decidedly the fashion of that time. 

l-l N I 



A Spanish type of beauty, the wife of President James Polk, Sarah, 
was considered a most charming and stylish woman. 

The gown by which she is to be remembered in the Museum of Smith- 
sonian Institute, is representative of a very fashionable and extravagant 
period. It was an imported gown of brocaded satin with a design of 
the flower poinsettia woven in. It is made from the m odes of the King 
Louis Philippe (of France) reign, very small jvaist, full short sleeves, 
and a low neckline. Numerous bows of ribbon placed here and there among 

the lace cascades of the skirt, 
adorn that remarkable and dressy gown. 
Her hairdo is the same as the Court 
ladies of France and England were, 
curls falling over her ears. She 
carries a fan. 

The flower "poinsettia" i6 
named after Honorable Joel Poinsett. 

[ - 



There is, at present (1954', a very small portable sewing machine weighing 
but seven pounds, capable of handling all kinds of tasks, delicate ones as well 
as heavier ones. It was recently exhibited in large American cities. 

Our thoughts go back to 1846 when Flias Howes first introduced his extra- 
ordinary mechanical device to the reluctant Boston population. This marvelous 
contrivance which saves so much time had been invented by a Frenchman (Barthelemy 
Thimmonier 1830), but somehow the French nation failed to encourage this new 
gadget on the grounds that it would ruin the tailoring and dressmaking trades. 

Years after the Frenchman's failure, it was with great difficulties and 
heartaches that Ellas Howe, the real inventor of the sewing machine, finally 
succeeded in introducing one of the most used mechanical devices of our day. 
No one acclaimed him with enthusiasm; even here in the United States it was 
also feared that the new invention would spoil the trade considerably. But 
his perseverance and strong will to succeed did not prove futile at the end. 

Flias Howe was a mechanic of rare ability. 
Being somewhat handicapped, he made up his 
mind to perfect his invention. In spite 
of a fire which destroyed his shop, the young 
inventor continued his unrelenting efforts. 
Helped, however, by a man named Fisher who 
gave him the necessary fund to start his shop, 
FLias Howe took him as a partner in that 
hazardous enterprise. 
Unfortunately, Boston still more conservative in those days than now, com- 
pelled young Howe to take his machine to Fngland, where his mother tried to 

introduce it. There, working with a man by the name of Thomas, he secured a 
patent and all rights (his third machine). But when he returned to the United 
States, Howe found that his invention was already being manufactured, so he had 
to fight several law suits, which finally gave him royalties in 1854. 

■f ■ 



This revolution in France was so brief that the change of dress was not 
radical. The most remarkable feature of that time was the adoption of 
tricolor materials. The general style in France during that period remained 
practically the same as through the last years of Louis Philippe's reign as 
King - the same bodice and the same sleeves were worn, also the wide skirts 
with ruffles. The decolletage rather low was worn evenings only, other frocks 
having very high collars often finished with a bow in front. Fans were always 
a part of a lady's evening attire. Those French modes were followed by the 
Western countries, including the United States. 

New materials, such as "Orleans'' and "Armur«'> were the main feature of 
that particular time. Orleans was a sort of smooth fabric made of wool and 
cotton, while £rmure was made of silk (of different weave) manufactured in 
Lyons, dyed various hues. The main feature on the gowns of that period was 
the beauty and richness of the fabrics especially used by the wealthy classes - 
lace trimming adorned silk, velvet, and satin frocks. Black lace was used 
profusely in ruffles over colored silk dresses, also for capes and sometimes 
as a scarf, occasionally rather large, covering the head entirely. 

The principal colors were green, violet, lavender, gray, blue; for evening, 
rose color, pale blue, lavender, and white. A jacket and a skirt were often 
made of contrasting materials, such as a blue skirt and a yellow jacket - the 
jacket being lavishly braided with blue soutache. The skirts were long enough 
to hide the boots, which were not considered important in a lady's "toilette". 
Several costumes were composed of as many as four colors, Ex. - Green dress, 
black lace cape, yellow bonnet, and a coral pink touch on bonnet. 



Mrs, Betty Taylor Bliss Dandrige, daughter of President Taylor, 
served as hostess during the short period he was in the White House. 

The dress in which "Miss Betty" (as she was always called) - is 
represented on the manikin is not a really formal frock in comparison 
to the other rather classic gowns exhibited - it probably was a daytime 

It is of a sage grass color and of silk grenadine, trimmed with 
Scotch plaid. The numerous ruffles are edged with moss tone fringe, 
the skirt, without a train, stands out stiffly over crinoline. The 
"bell sleeves" are short, typical of the 1840 style. Beautiful 
princess lace adorns the bodice, and she carries a handkerchief em- 
broidered with her name (Betty). 



It was through great difficulties that a dress worn by Mrs. 
Fillmore during her reign as the Mistress of the Yn'hite House wa« 
finally obtained for the precious collection of the National Museum. 
Mrs, Fillmore's gown, as it is exhibited on trie maniKin, is made of 
lavender silk. Flounces of brocade which were then very much a la 
mode, adorned almost all the wide skirts such as that of her gown. 
A very lovely lace fichu completes the high decolletage of the pointed 

It is interesting to note, by the way, that Mrs. Fillmore (who 
had been a school teacher) had the distinction of having been influen- 
zal in the passing of the bill authorizing the purchase of books for 
the first library of the White House. It is even said that the 
room used as the library at present is the same that was selected for 
a reading room in 1850 soon after the president and Mrs. Fillmore 
moved in. 

Mrs. Fillmore's dress was, no doubt, partly sewed by machine, as 
the new invention (sewing machine) was beginning to be extreraemly 
Dopular. All the gowns of the First ladies of the 'frhite House, before 
1850 were made entirely by hand. 

r • 




In England, a very brave woman, Mrs. Amelia Jenks Bloomer (American by 
birth) revolutionized the style of women's dress when she launched her remark- 
able creation of the divided skirt. TComen, who favored bicycle riding, were 
greatly handicapped by the long skirt. Mrs. Elizabeth Smith Miller had ex- 
pressed her ideas and may be considered the real reformer of women's dress, 
but it was actually to Mrs. Bloomer that the honor of inaugurating the more 
comfortable dress for women belongs. She was ridiculed when ladies first 
appeared wearing the new attire that she had designed, and she met with 
strong opposition. 

It was unfortunate that the number of women thus dressed was not 
numerous enough to influence the majority, and it took time to realize the 
comfort and the health advantage attached to this corsetless garment. 
However, her many sponsors approved of this new movement to improve the very 
uncomfortable fashions of that Century, generally imported from ?aris, and 
followed strictly, not only by the upper class, but also by the working class. 

"'hen Mrs. Bloomer died in 1894 at the age of 76, the style of bloomer was 
an accepted fact, and women in every country wore the bloomers or divided 
skirts commonly, even when not riding their bicycles. These skirts were made 
(by machine) of beautiful tweed and considered rather chic, stitched in straight 
rows parallel to the hem; sometimes a skirt had as many as fifteen and sixteen 
rows of stitching making the jupe stand out stiffly. 

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Second T^mpire in France (1852) - Eugenie as a Fashion Leader - 
The Great Exhibition of 1851 - The Crinoline - the Shorter Skirt - 
Mistresses of the White House - Jane Apple ton Pierce (1853-1857) - 
Harriet Ls-ne Johnston (^resident Buchanan's Niece (1857-1861) - 
Mary Todd Lincoln (1861-1865). The Civil War in the United States, 
its Influence on American Dress - Martha Johnson Patterson 
(President Johnson's Daughter (1865-1869) - Modes of the Period 
After the Civil War - Textiles and Trimmings - Julia Dent Grant 

Second Empire (France, 1862-1870). The question of clothes took 
a very important place in the life of women, not only in France during 
the Second Empire, but everywhere in the world. Everyone talked about 
the feminine attire, and Empress Eugenie of France became the arbiter of 
fashion in a manner quite different from that of the previous periods. 
Her fashions were followed strictly by every nation. However, her 
styles were varied and at times rather radical. Among them was the 
crinoline that she introduced for personal reasons, but this metal 
foundation differed considerably from the one worn during a part of the 
16th Century (Renaissance). The hoop, over which the dress was worn, 
resembled a bellion. Short enough to show a dainty, well-booted foot, 
it allowed the wearer to walk with more ease and comfort than the ones 
used during the earlier period of history. But in those days, ladies 
of quality seldom walked long distances. Eugenie also introduced the 
princess style dress which she wore with grace. 






The Court of France was almost as brilliant as it had been before 
the Revolution; it shone with great magnificence and its influence on 
fashion was powerful in its inspiration, including the cloak called the 
C T.saque which women wore over their lovely dresses. 

The French styles were worn by the women of Britain as well as by 
the feminine population of other countries. However, many of these French 
modes were and still are called Victorian. It is interesting to note 
that the British publications reproduced styles which were invariably 
of Parisian designs. 

Fashions became the favorite 
topic of parlor conversation. That 
period, especially remarkable for the 
question of clothes as well as for 
industry's progress, proved to be 
very important for textile manufac- 
turing which was a significant factor 
in the designing of artistic fashions. 
In that line (color especially) 
French superiority was acknowledged 
by the British, at the great Fxhibition 
of 1851. The result of that artistic 

output of French tissues was due to the teaching of color harmony by- 
Eugene Chevreul (chemist and colorist) whose courses of lectures were 
given to the workers and designers of the many textile factories in 
Paris and Lyone. Solicited by the Trade, people who realized the advan- 
tages of color knowledge, Mr. Chevreul n^t only gave wonderful conferences 
on Hue, Value, Contrast, etc., but his books wexe translated in several 
languages. Textiles everywhere improved remarkably in tone combinations. 
In England, the tweeds were and still are the admiration of the world. 

Many innovations featured that era of lavishness in la mode (fashions). 
The small parasol was an object of beauty, trimmed with lace and embroidery. 
The long gloves nearly always completed Madame 's toilette. 

white gowns were often worn over colored petticoats, and lace continued 
to be in favor; a very fancy skirt, rather over-trimmed and called Basquine , 
was a popular fad during that remarkable era. 

A bodice called Vareuse was made, of coarse linen resembling the 
dressy woolen one worn by the sailors, on special occasions. Then a 
jacket trimmed with passementerie (an elaborate kind of lacy braid 
trimming, often of gold^ . 

Hats looked like bonnets and were mostly made of ribbon with long 
streamers flowing over the shoulders. Eugenie also set the style of 
coiffure; her beautiful chestnut hair fell down her neck in curls, and 
every woman soon followed that mode of hairdo, called the "Eugenie curls." 

She favored the use of cosmetics and penciled her long eyelashes; she 
applied lipstick to her beautiful cupid bow lips, and women everywhere 
copied hsr style, to appear more attractive. 

The small hat that she popularized was revived in 1934 in every 
city and town of America. 

The year 1851 "night be well remembered not only in Europe, but here 
in the United States, where several ladies appeared on Broadway, New York, 
attired in what was called the "Bloomer Outfit." Some horrified conserva- 
tive Americans expressed their hostility at this bold venture in the 
matter of dress. Until then no lady had dared to wear skirts shorter 
than themselves. At last Amelia Bloomer's venture in feminine costume was 
recognized, even across the sea, here in the United States. Many laughed 
and turned this strange innovation into derision, but that quaint outfit 
was worn by as distinguished a woman as Susan B. Anthony, whose friendship 
with Amelia Bloomer is an historical fact. However, it took time before 
it (Bloomer Costume) was approved by the masculine population whose ideas 
on women's dress remained conservative for years. 

Until 1860 the voluminous skirts remained quite long. But when 
Empress Eugenie travelled in Switzerland she found it more practical 
to wear shorter skirts in order to climb the Alps, This occasion also 
brought about tailor-made effect for walking costume. 

When the vogue of tne panier and crinoline reached the United 
States, women rechristened them the bustle and the hoop skirt. 

The most remarkable feature of that era was the Paisley shawl 
which appeared along with the parasol and the bonnet that was held with 
ribbon tied under the chin with a bow. The skirts, still very wide, 
were adorned with ruffles from five to three inches wide. The sleeves 
remained plain at the top but rather puffy at the wrist. The bodices 
continued to be fitted closely to the figure and also trimmed with a 
narrow ruffle at the neckline, which was quite high for daytime wear. 

Green, light navy, yellow also (for bonnets), and brown were the 
most popular tones. Two colors often composed the fashionable gowns of 
that period. For example, a. rose-colored skirt with a pale blue bodice, 
or a white and blue evening frock; dark red with a gray lace scarf. The 
outdoor costume was often trimmed with fur, generally with bands of 
ermine, about the most popular fur at that time. 


The gown that Mrs. Pierce wore at her husband's inauguration was 
made of black tulle on the lines of the Empire style, with its very wide 
and long skirt, also the closely fitted bodice. 

The short full sleeves and her round-shaped decolletage, off the 
shoulders follow Empress Eugenie's French mode. The gown is elaborately 
embroidered with silver threads; the skirt, however, is not apparently 
held in place with the crinoline, so smart at that time. As a whole 
the costume exhibited in the National Museum is decidedly of the period 
(1853). Mrs. Pierce's hairdo does not seem of that era, but perhaps that 
was the popular style here in the United States, or that particular 
coiffure may have been more becoming to the First Lady of the Land. The 
small head-dress of black net embroidered with gold and jet was especially 
favored by Mrs. Pierce who wore it during her entire stay in the White House. 

HIRRIST LfiNE JOHNSTON ( 1857-186 1 ) 

The young and charming niece (Harriet Lane Johnston) of President 
Buchanan, was one of the prettiest and most graceful hostesses of the 
White House. She is represented in the National Museum, dressed with a 
glamorous white antique moire silk costume, which we are told was her 
wedding gown. The skirt, finished with scallops at the hem, is extremely 
wide, but not much longer than floor length; the end of a white satin 
boot discloses itself. The decolletage of her tight fitting bodice is 
fairly low, but her real lace bridal veil gracefully draped around the 
shoulders makes it appear higher. Her coiffure is of the period (1857), 
curls in waterfall style. 



MARY TODD LINCOLN (1861-1865 ) 

As the First Lady of the Land, Mary Todd Lincoln, enjoyed the 
reputation of being a stylish and well-dressed woman. 

Mrs. Lincoln* s gown is made of purple velvet, the wide skirt 
apparently held with the Empress Eugenie crinoline, and made of several 
gores, each one piped with white satin. The waist is terminated in a 
point in front, tight fitting and with a long lace bertha around the low 
neckline, style of the early sixties. The whole costume is rich and beauti- 
ful. It is said that Mrs. Lincoln's historic costume was probably made 
by a colored woman who acted as her maid and also her dressmaker. Her small 
coiffure was adorned with a wreath of flowers that she seemed to favor. 
A fan, fashionable at that time, completes Mrs. Lincoln's toilette. 


It is to be regretted that the manikin representing the First 
Lady of the Land at that special time is so oddly attired. One may 
rightly conclude that the lack of material during the trying years 
of the Civil "'ar caused the gowns of even the high class American 
women to be made over until actually worn out. This is probably the 
reason the manikin is just covered with that white camel f s-hair wrap, 
which is a decided contrast to the many other figures of the collection, 
which are more or less richly gowned in their Inaugural Ball attire. 
Her hairdo, however, is stylish, with curls, a la mode. 



The period preceding the Franco -Prussian War (1870-1871) marked an 
era of extravagant modes, which revolutionized the dressmaking trade; 
couturiers and tailors made fortunes. Designers received their customers 
in beautifully furnished salons (parlors), and women could hardly express 
their opinion in the choice of their toilette (outfit). The range and 
combinations of color were often inspired from well-known artists of the 
time as couturiers considered their models works of art. A number of 
different colors composed a fashionable woman's costume. For example: 
H green and rose-colored gown, pale yellow gloves, grey boots, and a 
touch of white or black lace. It is to be noted, which is rather amusing, 
that the question of giving up the crinoline was discussed by the leaders 
of fashion who met and consulted together for that very important decision. 
Pt last, the hoop disappeared for good. 

An out-of-door costume was often trimmed with fur, generally in the 
form of bands on the three-quarter coat at the neck and at the bottom of 
the sleeves. A small muff of ermine or mink featured the modes of that 
historic period, just before the siege of Paris (Winter 1870-1871). 

Green, peacock blue, dark red, rose color, and white, were favored 
as the fashionable colors, while black was worn for mourning only, , Made 
of black cashmere, a mourning outfit was heavily trimmed with crepe, with 
a sort of bonnet and black veil trimmed with crepe and long in the back 
for the widow, who wore this sort of costume for two or three years. 
Even children wore only black or white. Jewelry, which was a special 
feature of the modes then, was forbidden for the widows and near relatives. 

JULIA DENT GRANT (1869 -1877 ) 

Mrs. Ulysses Simpson Grant, who represents the post Civil War years, 
was one of the famous hostesses of the White House. She dressed well, 
following la mode de Paris , as the majority of wealthy Americans did, 
expressing, as it were, a marked cheerfulness with lavish and beautiful 

clothes. Social life in Washington, 
during the eight years Grant was 
President of the United States, 
was very active, hence the reason 
for such display of rich and 
fashionable attire for both men 
and women. 

The gown on the manikin, represent- 
ing the First Lady of the Land in the 
National Museum, is a gorgeous affair 
of brocaded silk with silver threads, 
presented to her by the Emperor of 
China as a gift. It is made with 
plisses on the skirt, as it was the 
style. The skirt, touching the floor 
all around, is held stiffly by the crinoline. A cape-bertha of real 
point lace, dating back to President Grant 1 s first Inaugural Ball, covers 
the shoulders and the decolletage, which is quite low. 

Her hairdo is composed of numerous curls rather high on her head. 




1871 - 1955 





TChat I call the Fourth ^eriod in the History of Costume, actually began 
after the fall of the French Empire in 1871. Since that time Madame Fashion 
went through various kinds of silhouettes. The modes that succeeded each 
other were absolutely the creation of men in search of variety and beauty. 

In fact, as we shall see, women's clothing industry here in the 
United States is responsible for a large number of drastic changes, and in 
turn has been vastly affected by the feminine figure which no longer is 
constricted by the corset such as had been worn for centuries since 1300. 

Tomen's entrance into various industries also caused this iturn to 
the physical comforts of the pre-corset era. 

with the end of the French Empire (1871) came an entirely new period 
in fashion, and French couturiers became the real arbiters of styles; their 
models were, and still are, a challenge. Fonr^ly. as we know, Queens 
had been the real creators of "la mode". Even as late as a Century ago 
when Eugenie was Empress of the French and ^attached such importance to 
dress that she even turned huge chambers of bhe ^uxileries Palace into 
workshops where milliners and dressmakers brought their best goods for her 
to select from, and to introduce such new ideas as the panier, and the 
crinoline (hoop). The latter was called a"cage", and the wearer was said 

to be "ca^ed in", a description that was more truthful than poetic, 
impress Eugenie's unparalleled wardrobe has not been equalled since. 

Here in the United States, the First Lady of the Land may have inspired 
fashion in details of some kind, such as a new shade, hairdo, and trimmings. 
This may also be said of well known actresses whose manner of dress was 
often copied by a certain class of women, but the main lines beginning with 
the decolletage, the waistline, the sleeve, and the skirt, were drastically 



changed by French artist designers. The silhouette characterized the 
special year in which it was first introduced at the seasonal fashion shows, 
designers having drawn their inspirations from various sources, as we know. 

The change to the present tense in discussing this era ©f 1900 t© 1955 
pay need explanation. It is due to the fact that the evolution of the 
feminine costume since 1900 is a vastly different stery from that since 
Antiquity, consequently, it seems mere interesting to present in diary farm 
the substance of »y lectures as they were given year by year in the class- 
room or before the general public at clubs, libraries, or at Normal colleges. 
In condensing my lectures, I have endeavored to present only the highlights 
of style. My illustrations, which are original, remain practically the same 
as I drew them on the classroom blackboard, suggested from Paris or New York 
fashion periodicals or from quick sketches made while attending fashion shows. 

The opening decades of our 20th Century, show an extraordinary, even a 
muchroom growth in relatively new industries of manufactured garments, and 
we now see the manufacturing of ready-to-wear clothes for women as arbiters 
ef fashion, even though the main designs really still come from Paris where 
designers strive to adopt their creations to the scientific progress of this 
Era. But these models which, by means of additional triirmings, eliminations, 
and adjustments, are hardly recognizable as they are turned into practical, 
comfortable, and beautiful coats, dresses, and even fancy formal frocks that 
are within the means of every American woman 4 

Of course, this turn of the Century brought the same problems of 
fashion as in the past, and as then following the cowrse of historical 
events, such as in Worli War I (1914-1918), the Depression (1929), and World ftorll 



(1939-1945), but in addition there came an amazing change and advance in 
various fields of industry, most particularly in industrial chemistry, 
all of which affected costume profoundly, by launching many kinds of 
materials (rayon, nylon, etc.) and ways of living (automobile and air travel), 
never known before. 

This first half century sees many published prophecies about women's 
apparel of the future, when people expect to be travelling to the moon, 
and who knows what fantasy may replace our present "atomic" fashions J 









Modes of 1871 - 1899,- French Designers and Couturiers - 
Eccentricities of the 80' s - American health - Importance of 
French Models - New York as a Fashion Center - Influence of the 
Theatre - Mistresses of the White House - Lucy Webb Hayes (1877) - 
Lucretia Rudolph Garfield (1881) - Mary Arthur McElroy - (President 
Arthur's Sister - 1881) - High Lights of 1883 - Modes of 1886 - 
1887 - 1888 - Frances Folsom Cleveland (1886), Caroline Scott Harrison 
(1889) - Styles of the '90' s - Importance of Ready-to-Wear Garments - 
Ida Saxton McKinley (1897) - Modes of 1898 - 1899, 

The sudden change in la mode that occurred after the fall of the 
French Empire (1871) differed considerably from that of the preceding years. 
7Jith the disappearance of the crinoline (hoop) , the style might have been 
called simple but for the many ruffles and a great variety of garniture 
(trimmings). The wealth and rank of the wearer, however, was not as 
obvious as in former periods, although rich fabrics continued to flood the 
market. Combinations of materials such as cashmere and satin silk with the 
gorgeous new Parisian velvet featured an up-to-date feminine toilette. 

The two French "Provinces, Alsace and Lorraine, lost to France in 1870-71, 
inspired the designers; the blue, white, and red cocarde (rosette) was 
adopted as a favorite trimming, especially on hats. This innovation went 
around Europe and lasted quite some time. Bows of ribbon, lace, and ruffles 

in quantity, with a skirt shirred and caught up here and there. Ornamentation 
on all parts of Madame f s gown gave an appearance of elegance (though not 
beautiful) to the fashions. The cut seemed to be the most important factor 
of la mode for the close fitting corseted figure. 

With the limited choice of fabrics, certain materials were always used 
for daytime or evening clothes, such as Grosgrain silk and velvet for formal 
wear, and serge, alpaca, cashmere, for casual occasions; cotton was not used 
as it is today. The ingenuity of the designers proved to be limitless and the 
arrangements of tones or colors in one costume were astonishing. Glamorizing 
Madame »s toilette, couturiers endeavored to create details that often gave 
the gown a note of distinction. 

La Mode, as a whole, for that era, left no scope for variety in the 
placing of ruffles, bows, furbelows, lace cascade, on Madame 's frock. The 
basque and the Polonaise, held in place with the small pad or bustle, com- 
prised the general feminine silhouette. A note of interest was indicated 
by the method used in the selection of colors for the launching of new 
styles. Couturiers often borrowed colors from well known painters. 

It is, however, an undeniable fact that designers had almost failed 
in the creating of artistic and beautiful models; because of that, a certain 
similarity of dress wnich was obvious and monotonous existed, the only 
original note being in the combination of tones - sometimes as many as three 
on one gown. Black was the first color, lavender a good second. The arrange- 
ment of hues may be exemplified by a yellow gown adorned with mauve ruffles, 
a violet toilette relieved with black lace; a blue and white combination. 
Wedding gowns were invariably made of silk - the coloi 6 in vogue, lavender, 

1 1 



pale blue, yellow, etc. Though not used for daytime wear, the short train 
was still a part of Madame 1 s formal gown. 

The variety of weave in the silks, cottons, and woolens, offered 
satisfactory results in the designing field, often giving a frock a kind of 
new look, as it were. But the latest caprice in the line of silks was the 
lovely but stiff poult de soie , easy to manipulate in the forming of plaits, 
so much in vogue at that time. 

Lacing of the corset as tight as possible continued to be the general 

practice, emphasizing the bust and hip curves. This mode, unfortunately, 

lasted for years. 

Practically no variety existed in the sleeves which were long and 


plain at the top. A cuff or a puffy/ undersleeve, occasionally noticeable 
on dressy models, was regarded with surprise and immediately copied by 
dressmakers, the majority of whom were far from original though generally 
excellent in their trade. 

Madame 's chapeau was a kind of small bonnet of one or two colors to 
match the gown or of a complementary or contrasting tone. 

The question of money played an important role in feminine circles. 
High fashion was not as it is today, within the means of every woman's purse. 
The price of silk and velvet was exorbitant, and a silk dress was considered 
by many as an extravagance. 

One of the rather interesting events of this era (about 1872) in the 
field of the Haute Couture, was the sewing of a personal label inside the 
imported models. Credit for this new device is given to 77orth, the well- 
known and distinguished Parisian designer who had made clothes for Empress 
Eugenie. The couturiers had already begun to show their importance, but no 
one had conceived an idea such as Worth's. 

The skirt train which had been for so long a symbol of women's dignity, 
was at last put aside for the daytime toilette. A very popular fashion 
was a cape of mink with a small muff to match. 

The fashions during the Seventies took considerable time to be adopted, 
and when this happened new modes were regarded with awe. Women's fear of 
seeming eccentric conflicted with their desire to appear original, hence 
the conservative feeling (especially here in the United States) of the 
American population. 

There is one phase, however, of Madame 's toilette which left no scope 
for variety and richness, and that was the vogue in jewelry which grew 
to almost an inconceivable extravagance. Beautiful pins with pearls, 
diamonds, rubies, and sapphires - the lovely, but rather heavy necklaces 
of jet, pendants, earrings, brooches, crosses of gold, even chains of all 
kinds, and bracelets, were worn for a number of years. 

The machine-made lace which was apparently accepted by the high class 
of society was an astonishing detail greatly deplored by the lace makers 
of Ireland, France, Belgium, and Italy. The lovely and delicate handmade 
garniture was considered passi£ » 

In the United States, Parisian styles were followed and copied by a 
great majority; there was so much wealth. The style of furs increased 
and mink (from Canada and Maine) was priced so low that wealthy women 
looked for other more expensive furs (Canadian Mink #2.50 to ?3.00 a skin - 
in the United States ^5.00 to §6.00). At present (1950), Mink, considered 
one of the loveliest furs, is selling as high as #300.00 a skin. 



Modes of the years preceding the International Exhibition in Paris 
(1878) are better described by illustrations. 

As you will see by these illustrations, dresses, negliges, dressing 
gowns, wraps and capes all seem to have been designed for the general 
discomfort of the wearer. At least, these feminine clothes designed and 
made for the high class exclusively, appear to have been slavishly copied 
by women whose active life failed to be in harmony with such restrictions 
as long trailing skirts, bustles, and tight- fitting corsets. Even at 
that time women were engaged in professions, such as school teaching, 
holding office positions, and nursing, and these costumes were from any 
standpoint, uncomfortable and inconvenient. Fashion compelled wage earners 
(Shopkeepers and dressmakers, etc.) also to be thus unsuitably dressed 
in imitation of ladies of leisure. The force of the word "impracticable" 
heard on the lips of so many critics was demonstrated when, for instance, 
a well-dressed young mother carrying a baby, a bag, and her trailing skirt 
had to be helped when boarding a train. One may form an idea of how very 
difficult such clothing was when, at that time, most conveyances themselves 
were far from comfortable. 


MJGY_'^EBB_HAYES (1877-1881) 

This new Mistress of the executive Mansion, as it was then called 

she did, her features must have been regular, because during that period 
no one dared to have such a plain hairdo. 

At that time, just before the International Paris Exhibition, 
fashion was really not auite settled in France. Couturiers tried to 
launch modes that would be accepted, but the general styles left much 
to be desired. 

Lucy Webb Hayes' dress in the National Museum is typical of the 
complicated modes of that period (fringe and ruffles). The gown by 
which she is to be remembered is made of a rich brocade of gold and 
cream colored silk and satinj(a dress that she vvore at a State dinner 
given at the White House in honor of the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia, 
during his visit in the United States}. It is heavily trimmed and 
cut in princess style, fitted closely to her figure, and has looped 
up puffs on the sides« The neck line is rather high (Mrs. Hayes did 
not like low decolletage) and her sleeves bracelet length,, The skirt 
has a bustle and a train elaborately trimmed with ruffles. 

was a very good looking woman. 

In order to dress her hair the way 

LUC^TIA_RypOLFH_G£LMbLD (-1881) 

As we already know, the fashions of 1881 were far from artistic, 
and the dress Mrs. Garfield wore is a complicated affair of ruffles 
and bows, cut elaborately as all frocks were at that time. 

It was rather difficult for the Museum to obtain the gown she 
wore at the inauguration of her husband because she was living at the 
time of the Opening of the collection of costumes and the refused to 
send it. She finally consented (on her deathbed) to have her 
inauguration ball dress, packed carefully, presented to the National 
Museum, Made of lustrous lavender sat in, the skirt with a long train 
trimmed with satin puffs, has several deep flounses of real lace in 
front. The bodice is tight fitting, high neck, and with long sleeves 
edged with lace frills. 

Her hairdo is neatly and becomingly arranged in curls and a ohignon 
a la_gj*ecy_ue, on the top of her head. 





MARY AKTHUR IfcSLRQY (1881-1585) 
(President Arthur's Sister) 

Elegant, but simple in linns, the dress that was once worn by 
President Arthur's youngest sister, is really beautiful, because the rich 
heavy gray satin daiiask which it is made of is woven in a pattern of the 
popular morning glory flower. 

Mrs. McElroy's daughters hesitated in sending a gown of their mother' 
to the National Museum, as it was known that even during her brother's 
(President Arthur) term of office when she so gracefully fulfilled the 
duties of hostess of the White House, Mary Arthur McElroy dressed in a 
quiet style, either in black or in gray. 

The costume in nuestion is of a silvery tone, made with a gored 
skirt and a slight train. Curiously enough no bustle is apparent at the 
back of a skirt that hangs flatly, contrary to the mode of that period. 
Pearls and cut steel embroidery adorns the front panel and also the seams 
of the bodice and the puffy sleeves. The rather low docellotaga is in 
the shape of a pointed sweetheart neckline finished with a ruffle of lace 
and a small flower bouquet. 

The hair-do on the manikin is the same as represented in one of her 
portraits, parted in the ©enter, and brought back in a chignon. 



i r h 


: 1 i 


Fashion history was made that year with the appearance, in ^aris, of the 
huge bustle that featured the radical change of style. The bodice of the 
gown was tight and buttoned in front, often finished with a tailor-made collar 
and"revers" and had close-fitting sleeves at the wrist with a white cuff like 
the vest. For certain occasions white ruffles adorned the waist and sleeves. 
£s a whole, this period continued rather tailor-made as in 80-81, but the 
skirts often had ruffles or plaits. The drapery that went over the hips was 
finished with puffs held by plisses (gathers) over the atrocious bustle in 
the back made of crinoline. 

Colors were dark red, brown, greens of all shades, and a very light navy. 
Yellow often trimmed a dressy gown in a sort of vest effect. But the fabrics 
were still limited to cashmere, alpaca, velvet, grosgrain silk. Machine-made 
trimmings of all descriptions, such as a soutache, braids, laces, passementerie 
and ribbons, flooded the market. 

Lined with taffeta silk or percaline, 
the waist was heavily boned at every 
seam, and also at the two darts below 
the bust. It took about eight or ten 
short lengths of whalebone to make a 
waist fit closely to the figure. 
Trailing slightly at the back, the skirts 
were very long and worn over a silk or 
satin ruffled petticoat, and always held 
up by the right hand when crossing the 
muddy streets of that time. As for the 
shoes and stockings, they were not con- 
sidered seriously in a woman's attire, 


and hosiery of cashmere cotton and wool was nearly always black. The button 
or laced boot was made of cloth called prunella , and kid protected the feet 
and ankles from the cold. 

Rats were small, heavily trimmed with plumes, ribbons, or aigrettes, 
and the entire costume was rather feminine in appearance. 

The hairdo was high and since no marcel wave had yet been invented, 
most women were forced to put up their hair in paper curls every night, 
covered by a lace or fancy bonnet. Gloves were strictly de rigueur for 
all occasions. 

As a whole, the fashions that came from Paris were far from smart, 
though adopted in America without any question about their practicability. 
Since the fall of the French Empire, the Parisian styles were more or less 
confused and the designers were trying to create original and beautiful 
modes that would equal those launched by Empress Eugenie before 1870. 
One redeeming feature of these odd styles, however, was the very remarkable 
rich materials, such as Liberty Stuff and handsome soft Indian tissues that 
made their appearance on the market, also colored printed materials of 
attractive designs which had a very favorable reception by the leading 
couturiers. It might be added that though couturiers and designers had not 
yet succeeded in creating artistic and beautiful modes, the general taste 
of the public appeared contented with the models that came from ^aris and 
New York. 

As New York was the Senter of Fashions, her couturiers and designers 
travelled two or three times a year to Paris and London; they copied and 
modified the French styles for the American women. Ready-made garments 
were beginning to be more and more popular. 

"nother style item of importance was the English-cut bicycle jacket, 
contrasting considerably with the rather fancy jacket of previous years. 

ao OWJ 


Designers during the years 1887-88-89, in their effort to launch new 
modes, exercised their ingenuity by presenting odd and original draperies on 
Madame f s bunchy jupon - (skirt). They also handled combinations of materials 
by very clever fashion tricks. But, alas I no couturiers actually departed 
from the rather grotesque silhouette, the same pinched-in-waist, the large hips, 
the bustle and plain shoulder line. Hence, notes of novelty were achieved by 
the varied manner of placing ruffles and trimmings, such as bows of ribbon, 
which contributed to the complication of dress, adopted soon after the 70' s. 
The general effect of the gown appeared different from its predecessors 
which satisfied the feminine desire to appear chic and up-to-date. 

The revival of handmade lace, a very happy event of these years, left 
the machine-made kind to be used on Summer dresses only, and on underwear 
or lingerie, as it was called in Paris, Silk and satin underwear, even a 
corset of satin, was featured for wealthy Madame f s trousseau. 

Dresses of too bright colors were not generally accepted for daytime 
wear, but an overdress of black lace was used to tone it down. 

Hats favored by the entire feminine population were not large, and 
invariably adorned with plumes and quills; no bonnets, except for very old 

Decorated with beads and a satin bow, Milady's shoes were made of plain 

False hair, taken as a matter of course, was worn by a great majority 
of the fair sex. This deprived many of the pleasure of being singled out by 
their wealth of golden or dark natural curls. 


(1886-1889) (1893-1897) 

Young and pretty lira. Cleveland^ gown is on* that she wore 
durimg her husband's second administration. 

It is made of pale green silk, brocaded with large pink roses, 
and the closely fitted bodice is encircled by a velvet belt matching 
the color of the roses. The wide gored skirt is without a train. 
The decolletage is not very low but a little off the shoulders, as it 
was popular for formal attire of that period. The sleeves are full 
and short. 

Her hairdo also is typical of the early nineties - waved and 
arranged softly behind the ears in a knot. 





Made ef soft silver gray silk, Mrs. Harrison's levsly inaugural 
ball cross stands sut among tas many costumes sf this extraordinary 
collection. The very full skirt, gored in the latest style of the 
early nineties, exemplifies the marked radical change of fashion that 
occurred in Paris during that period of bold venture* The sleeves ars 
not exactly puffy, but sewed in the armseye with fullness, Th* V-neck 
modestly low exphasi*** Mrs. Harrison's modest taste. Beautiful real 
lacs adorns the bodice which is finished with a point at the waistline. 

The important thing, however, to remember about this first 
Lady's formal attire is the fact that it is of American design, the 
silk having been woven in an original ana artist ic pattsrn suggested 
by the First Lady herself.- that i«, a composition of forms taken 
fro* the bur oaks of Indiana, 

Her coiffure is what was called then by professional hair stylists, 
"chignon a la Grecaue". A turtoise shell pin and fancy gold comb 
adorn the top of her wavy hair. 

»a c *-to 

; J j 


th* ¥ §uf »4*eUe #>*wdLd indrai ree*ll ts 

Living with her parents, President Harrison's daughter, Mary, 

assumed the duties of the White House, during her mother's illness 

and after her death. Witty and extremely good looking, her cordial 

though dignified manner made her a favorite of Washington Society, but 

grieved by the loss of her dear mother to whom she had been so devoted, 

Mary McKee lived quietjy with her two children for the short period 

she remained in the Executive Mansion. 

The dress on the manikin representing her, in the National Museum, 
is the one she wore at her father** inaugural ball, and dates back to 
1889 which is, of course, of the bustle period. However, the material 
is a rich brocaded satin and must have been of parchment color with a 
design of golden rod - her father's favorite flower. Thie fabric was 
probably woven especially for her. The front of the skirt is made 
of gold taffeta covered with cream lace. An underskirt of apple ^reen 
velvet adds to the complicated wide skirt finished with a long train. 

As a whole, this costume on young Mary McKee must have given her 
a matronly appearance, and she was so young. The decolletage is even 
covered with a net work of silver and amber beads similar to the trim- 
ming of the velvet sleeves. 

Old gold slippers and gloves complete the costume, with a fan of 
the same shade,, 


These years which people then called "depressing" and many now mention 
as the "gay nineties", one should indeed recall as a time of peace and wealth - 
an era of perfect bliss. The game of bridge which had just appeared in England 
was a good excuse for extra gowns to be fashioned for the gay bridge parties. 
Invariably wide, the skirts touched the ground all around and were always 
finished at the bottom with a brush braid of the same shade as the gown; 
it had to be replaced every now and then because it proved to be a floor 
and street sweeper. 

But the outstanding feature of the general mode was the "godet" style, 
resembling stovepipes in their stiffness. These three or more folds were 
lined entirely with haircloth, or crinoline which was less costly. No 
apparent seams could be noticed on the bodice which was gracefully draped 
over a well-fitted boned lining of taffeta or percaline. The sleeves, 
leg-o-mutton, also lined with haircloth or crinoline, served to emphasize 
the very small waist. With the high collars and the well-feathered hats, 
the silhouette of "the Nineties" will long be remembered. 

Fur trimming contributed largely to giving women's Winter attire a 
certain air of richness. Very few fur coats could be found in the stores 
at that time, so capes were adorned with mink, chinchilla or seal to add a 
note of distinction. 

Materials were still limited to woolen, serge, broadcloth and cashmere. 
The silk variety was as follows: taffeta, grosgrain, poult de soie, surah, 
and pongee. 


As for the colors - the greens, the browns, the blues (navy) and 
violets, were the only choice for Madame or Mademoiselle. Our dyes left 
much to be desired, and the most beautiful colors and fabrics were the 
imported ones. Combinations were such as a rose colored dress with a 
cream lace yoke, a blue sash, and a hat to match the gown (adorned with 
blue ostrich feathers). A parasol of blue silk, carried by a lady wear- 
ing a white dress trimmed with orange colored ribbons, was considered in 
good taste. 

For Summer, lace and machine-made embroideries trimmed the muslin, 
percale, and linen frocks. 


During the late 90 f s feminine styles followed each other with more or 
less similarity, and without much exaggeration. New modes failed to display 
many changes in the silhouette and one could observe practically the same 
contour of the feminine figure from one year to the other. Glamorizing the 
formal attire, however, a robe de style (period gown), copied from those of 
well known actresses, and very recognizable in their inspiration, proved to 
be favored by the upper class minority. 

Wide petticoats invariably worn at all times of the day (even for street 
wear) and evening, helped to support the ample and bulky jupon of Madame. 
Taffeta silk ones that caused the pleasant rustling of frou-frou (rich rich 
noise) were mostly worn by the wealthy women. 

Somehow the human spirit is often reflected by la mode and certain 
phases of its periodical cycle influence our personality to a high degree. 
Dramatic and surprising, the divided skirt or the Bloomer was the most 
unusual feature of this period. The "wheel", as it was called, was 
responsible for bicycling. This popular sport for outdoor activities 
revolutionized fashion to a great extent. As far back as 1834, when Mrs. 
Bloomer died, the bloomer or divided skirt, was already on the market. 
Made of rather heavy material it resembled a very wide rather short jupon 
stitched in the center. Reluctantly accepted, presumably on the ground that 
it altered women's dignity, the divided skirt retained^ its popularity, 


MODES OF 1899 

At the close of the 19th century la mode presented a pleasant picture, 
but the outstanding innovation was the production of new materials which 
included lovely soft and light woolens, especially the cashmeres of Indian 
importation. The old-fashioned pale blues and pale greens, as well as pale 
tints of all descriptions, were seen in this supple and charming fabric, 
so admirably adapted to the soft draperies and clinging lines that fashion 

The styles of Spring, 1899, also featured embroidery incrustations of 
guipure, on taffeta as well as on the light woolens. Foulard silk gowns 
made with insertions of Valencienne lace, were in good taste. 

For Summer, a variety of muslin ;, linons" (a fine batiste) and perforated 
tissues were seen again worn over color and elaborately trimmed with tucks 
and lace. 

A very lovely model was a Marie Antoinette gown with a ruffled fichu, 
crossed over on the left side. This, made of India muslin, was considered 
very fetching. The French designers were now all sending ravishing modes 
inspired from various periods of history, such as Marie Antoinette and the 
Directoire periods. Pompadour embroidery, on little vests of white satin 
was mentioned as "broiderie ancienne." These designs of faded tones 
(tones of the past) trimmed a gown very well. 

Even some of the Greek draperies were revived. The decolletage was 
very low for formal evening wear. 

An elaborate skirt made of several flounces was called etagere (shelves). 
The same effect was seen on the vest of the bodice opening to a point at the 


waistline. Hats were over-trimmed and very large - plumes, flowers, and 
ribbons almost covering the crown. 

This era was especially remarkable because of the important place 
that the ready-to-wear feminine clothes took, and which revolutionized the 
garment industry. There were still, however, numerous dressmaking shops 
where the elite's clothes were made to order, copied from French models, 
or especially designed for individuals. 

Hand-made trimmings, appreciated to their full value, gave a personal 
touch to the gown or a blouse, making Madame^ attire appear distinctive. 
Furs, such as ermine and chinchilla, were used on smart velvet collarettes 
and capes. 

The hairdo continues to be a top Chignon a la Grecque . 




ida s. Mckinley (I897-1901) 

Mrs, McKinley wore a beautiful costume at her husband's inaugural ball 
Karch 4th, 1897. Made of cream-white satin, embroidered with pearls and 
elaborately trimmed with real lace that gorgeous gown was designed for her 
by a New York couturier. As it was the fashion then, the waist is tight- 
fitting, the skirt full with a short train, A remarkable feature of this 
lovely gown is the high neckline and the long sleeves, but contrary to the 
Parisian style of 1897 there is no fullness at the top of the sleeves; 
they are almost plain. The rest of the dress, however, is extremely " a la mode ". 

Mrs, McKinley wore exquisite shoes of 
white satin to match her gown. The 
real lace handkerchief and her gauze 
fan (with pearls) are also exhibited 
with the ?own at the United .States 
National Museum in Washington, D. C, 
It is one of the most beautiful 
creations of the wonderful collection 
of gowns on the many manikins represent- 
ing the mistresses of the White House. 
The hairdo is rather plain, marcel waved 
and close to the head, showing the ears 
without earrings. 

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Isoisct t nx3lq xeridjJi b± oimiad adT 

C HAPT8R T H I R T a Jfc N 






Twentieth Century - styles of 1900 - 1901 - 1903 - 1904 - 
1905 - 1906 - 1907 - 1908 - 1909 - 1910 - 1911 - 
Transition ^eriod - Elaborate and Eccentric Modes - Large Hats - 
Willow Plumes - Luxurious Furs - New Corsets - New Colors - 
New Shoes 


The marked exaggeration of t'ae Fall modes as we begin the Twentieth 

p entury surpasses that of previous years. It is to be a dazzling Fall and a 

new and elegant Winter, if we are to go by the models that have appeared in 

the glamorous showings of fashions in Paris and New York. 

More than ever, the machine with its many and perfected attachments 

is a wonderful help to the dress industry. It is said - sometimes with 

dismay - that the modes are complicated, but they are gorgeous and the 

details artistically displayed on the frocks emphasize the very small waist, 

the graceful neckline, and the short, puffy sleeves. 

Taffeta petticoats with accordion-plaited ruffles are still worn with 

the full skirt trailing and sweeping the ground. There is considerable 

interest about formal dress among both men and women. The vogue for this 

kind of attire accentuates the important part social events play in the life 

of the modern Americans, whose fabulous wealth is the talk of Europe. 

Leading fashion centers cater to this high class of society, and models from 

Paris are more and more popular. 



The role of fashion nowadays is the chief concern of the couturiers 
and designers, and no matter what styles cost they know that the latest fad 
will be accepted immediately. After all, fashion is self-expressed, and 
the elegance of women's dress as we enter into this new era, is significant 
of the progressing and prosperous times in which we live. There is no 
remarkable change in the general style, but we note, however, that there is 
less hip padding and also less of a bustle. 

For the majority of women, ideas on fashion are beginning to be freer 
and more adaptable to our ways of life; there are so many women now earning 
their living. There are also a number of sports open to the weaker sex. 
The bicycle continues, in large measure, to influence the manufacture of 
sport clothes, which are gaining in popularity. 

Embroidered and tucked shirt waists are featured, worn »;ith black 
broadcloth skirts. The silks and gingham for these charming blouses are 
striped generally of two or even three colors. 

Lace is used in profusion, especially for evening wear. The decolleta 
of these frocks is what the French call " risque ''; it is so very low. 

The wraps are fancy affairs of two materials combined in vivid colors. 
We ere astonished at the very extraordinary color harmonies that are so much 
brighter than what we have been used to before the turn of the Century. It 
is not rare to see an evening gown of pink " poult de soie" trimmed with cream 
lace and having a wide bright blue belt, or a white evening gown embroidered 
and trimmed with yellow and worn under a blue and mauve evening wrap. 

It is most interesting to compare the various modern fashions with the 
plain costumes of American pioneers. 




Suggested by the importance of the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, 
dress becomes a significant factor for women planning to attend this extra- 
ordinary affair. The opening promises to be a gorgeous and fashionable 
event. Encouraged by the prospect of having to wear new gowns, American 
women have prepared astonishing and very up-4io-date wardrobes for every 

The general lines of the silhouette have not been greatly altered 
since the turn of the Century, but the materials and trimmings are rich and 
beautiful. In spite of the trailing skirt still finished with the balayeuse 
(brush braid), the graceful line of the Spanish flounce gives Madame an air 
of opulence and distinction. 

Parisian and New York designers have exercised unusual skill in design- 
ing models that are almost breath-taking. Trimmings such as soutache braid, 
are favored on the travelling coats and tailleurs (three-quarter length coats). 
The short Eton, a comparatively new node, is chic, especially when made of 
taffeta silk. The high neckline features the afternoon frock, while a deep 
decolletage is observed on formal attire, for the attendance at a "Premiere" 
or for balls given in honor of the many foreign guests. 

It is a joy to see such a wide range of varied brilliant tones on all 
styles of dresses. V/ith the fame of Modern Art, colors are occasionally 
borrowed from the toiles (canvasses) of these artists, French and American 
painters. Lovely soft grays, rose-color, apple-green, and mauve, are the 
principal colors. 

An excellent machine-made imitation of Venetian point lace is favored 
as dress yoke trimming. Fagotting is very much a la mode, so much so that 
clever fagotted ribbons (machine made) may be bought by the yard and attached 
on the gown instead of hand made stitches. 


For underwear, an overtrimmed batiste or nainsook chemise, replacing 
the corset cover, is an outstanding feature of this year. It is adorned 
with ruffles edged with torchon or imitation Valencienne lace. The ruffles 
serve to help out the flat-bosomed girl. A set of lingerie is composed of 
a pair of drawers, a chemise, and a night dress, elaborately trimmed exactly 
the same. For a bride, the set is often made of pongee or China silk. 

Ostrich feathers, plumets, and flowers, cover Madame* s moderate-sized 
chapeau. There is much concern now from the Society for the Prevention of 
Cruelty to Animals because of the many birds being killed to trim ladies' 
head gear. 

A parasol of contrasting hues nearly always completes Madame 's toilette. 
Umbrellas, however, have extremely long handles. 

The very pointed toe shoe occasionally discloses itself when Milady 
holds her long skirt to go up or down a stairway. 

Feather boas are in vogue. 

For coat collars, furs promise to be a must for the Fall. advanced 
_>tyle Shows, exhibit fitch, Alaska martin, mink, and mole skin, but the 
wealthy class will again indulge in Russian sable, ermine, and occasionally 
zibeline . 


jnaexonel^V noi.'sil 





At last, this year's (1903) clothes are easier to select, and fascinating 
fashions are in the spotlight. The classic outfit, evening gowns and wraps, 
are decidedly adaptable to the many and varied social activities. Now that 
women have definitely penetrated into men's business domain, the practical 
point of view of dress in the usual course of women's everyday life is con- 
sidered with astonishing thoughtfulness. It is especially pleasing that 
American designers are succeeding in reducing the superfluous details so 
unnecessary on our business women's clothes, whose position, however, demands 
stylish and up-to-date dressing. 

This is a most interesting period in the life of women, with so many 
careers opened to them, especially in our large cities. The glittering 
gorgeousness of fashion creates an enthusiasm rarely witnessed among the poor 
and middle class working girls, who, with the help of the commercial patterns 
and the usual ability to sew, spend evening after evening making new clothes. 

The short bolero is still a favorite, but the main characteristic seems 
to be the white and colored shirt waist, now called a blouse (plain and 
"peek-a-boo"). This style shows off admirably the type of feminine figure 
drawn by the celebrated artist Cherles Dana Gibson. The very tight waist line, 
the high bustline, the full flounced skirt usus.ll/ made of black broadcloth, 
serge, or equally smart woolen fabric, enhance Madame 's silhouette and also 
emphasize her fantastic tilt (caused by the straight-front corsetX An ex- 
aggerated pointed belt terminated with a buckle or ornament of some kind, 
completes the costume. 

Our novel means of transportation, such as the horseless carriage and 
the gasoline yacht, whose progress we have been watching with great astonish- 
ment, is responsible for the new and special outfits to be worn when travelling 

in these queer vehicles. For instance, what we call "the duster" is a long, 
practical, and quite elegant coat made of "impermeable" (to protect from 
dust and water) material worn over a pretty dress or suit. ^ith this 
"duster", fashion and necessity decree a long veil placed over the stylish 
broad-brimmed hat and tied securely under the chin. Thus attired, what 
comfort it is to drive in the country at the terrific rate of twenty or 
even more miles per hour I 

Of an entirely different character, is a plain blue serge or cheviet 
suit which we do enjoy wearing with a tailor-made shirt waist, high neckline, 
white stiff collar, and a small black velvet bow; even a colored four-in-hand 
cravat of grosgrain silk ribbon is chic, though masculine looking. 

"La mode est un tyrant" (fashion is a tyrant) exclaimed a French writer. 
But how fascinating and charming it is in its many caprices J 


E5ITH_p^IT_GAROW_RgOSEVKLT ( 1901-1909 ) 

Mrs, Theodore Roosevelt, the gracious Mistress of the White House 
during the seven years of Theodore Roosevelt's administration, dressed 
stylishly though in conservative modes. 

The gown she wore at the inaugurfc.1 ball, wy.s a gorgeous affair 
of robin's egg blue brocaded satin (woven in the United States) with 
motifs of gold thread in a design that appears like small birds. The 
rather stiff manikin shows the dress to advantage, however, A bertha 
of real point lace adorns the low decolletage, but the bodice is quite 
plain otherwise. The skirt falls in graceful folds and is finished 
with a short train. Her jewelry consisted of a diamond necklace. It 
took quite a long time to persuade Mrs. Roosevelt to send her gown to be 
exhibited in the National Museum, and it was through her daughter, Mrs. 

Derby f that the gown was finally obtained. 


Mrs. Roosevelt's simple hairdo impressed many American ladies who 
cooied her style. 


L njj 


x otii 


Several radical changes of style are taking place and the French designers 
vie with each other in the launching of new ideas. The skirts, extremely wide, 
replace the narrow ones which have been worn for a few years and the Eton 
jacket is the style that seems the most popular for Spring. For Winter, velvet 
was the most stylish fabric, while broadcloth came a good second for suits and 
separate skirts, but now serge and tweeds feature the Spring modes. Coats 
were often trimmed with fur, mink, or Alaska marten, or with natural seal, but 
a few fur coats were seen on various occasions. They were made of Hudson seal, 
dyed muskrat, or Persian lamb, and sometimes of grey squirrel. 

T)ainty white blouses of voile and marquisette trimmed with lace are seen 
everywhere with dark full skirts. They form a dressy outfit for various 
social functions. The yokes on dresses are often fagotted and quite fancy; 
pin tucks, and shirring trim all kinds of frocks which are almost always made 
of thin woolen material, such as voile, cashmere, vayella cloth, challis, and 

The Princess dress that appeared in the Paris Spring openings is tight- 
fitting over a whale-boned waist lining and a taffeta petticoat. Underwear 
garments of nainsook or cotton are trimmed with lace and clusters of handmade 
tucks. The word "lingerie" is used to express the meaning of underthings 
composed of a combination of lawn, fine nainsook, or muslin, lace and embroidery; 
sometimes even blouses. A very popular lace is the "torchon" which is a hand- 
made lace imported from France and Switzerland - it resembles the Cluny. The 
machine made embroidery called Hamburg often replaces lace which is too high 
priced. Irish lace and Princess lace, often trim dresses, and sometimes a 
whole waist is made of one of these real laces. 


People who go to Europe nearly always bring back a Bertha of Dutchess or 
Rose Point lace to be used generally on wedding gowns. 

The high boots continue to be worn by every woman; they are buttoned 
and of kid or ordinary leather. They are mostly black, as are also the 
stockings which are either cotton, silk, lisle for Summer, and cashmere for 



The most important factor to consider at present is what one calls the 
foundation garment which is extremely well fitted to the body; the dress is 
then draped and sewed over it. 

"'omen's clothes are made by dressmakers who charge very high prices, 
sometimes as much as £25. 00. Designers frequently go to Paris once or even 
twice a year, and bring back to America the latest and most expensive models 
from the select and various French fashion shows. The dresses are lined with 
taffeta silk; less expensive frocks have percaline foundations which are all 
boned in front, sides, and back, much less, however, than before the turn of 
the Century. Plain or knife plaited ruffles generally trim the skirt of the 
lining. All skirts measure approximately four or five yards around. The 
Princess frock remains in style. 

House gowns for morning, often worn without the corset, hold an important 
place in Milady 1 s wardrobe. Very smart ones are called Empire Negliges. The 
skirts of these informal frocks are not very wide, not much more than three 
yards without the ruffle, but six or seven yards with the ruffles. We quite 
often hear the word "wrapper" to describe these models which are rasde of various 
kinds of fabrics; for Winter,- challis, cheviot, serge, broadcloth, Vayella cloth 
and velvet, r-.nd for .Summer y muslins, percale, flowered dimity, gingham, Crepe de 
Chine. Light weight materials are very popular for evening wear with satin for 
a change. Shantung and pongee silks are popular for daytime frocks. But for 
business, young girls remain faithful to the shirtwaist and separate dark skirt. 
An occasional fancy belt and pretty neckline relieves the monotony of this favorite 

attire. Brown, powder blue, white, and black, are the favorite colors. 

High boots, buttoned or laced, continue to be varied and quite handsome, but 
low shoes are gaining in popularity. Hidden by the very long skirts worn by every 
woman, the shoes and stockings are mostly black. 

Hats are fussy affairs of velvet, felts, straw, and braided chenille hand mad 
trimmed with plumes, silk or velvet flowers; they are an important part of a well 
dressed woman. 




The numerous models that came from Paris (in the Spring of 1908) from the 
various couturiers are considered sensible in their unusual simplicity. 

'"omen's clothes are, however, extremely feminine, beautifully cut and 
made of soft material, in colors varying from gray, silvery grey, blues known 
as Nattier, ''fetteau, and Athenian shades to soft lovely warm browns, especially 
beautiful in the silk tissues. For tailor-made suits, a brown with an almost 
invisible grey thread woven into the material, is very much in vogue, also the 
new green material with broken lines of black or grey. A color that was 
adopted right away when it appeared is a plum shade somewhat softer, however, 
than the tone of past years. 

Plaids are about the most stylish fabric for separate skirts. They 
are either plaited or very full at the bottom; quite short - just above the 
ankle, hiding the top of the boots. 

Mannish shirt waists are occasionally worn with these skirts; the sleeves 
are plainer but still full at the top, and long on the tailor-made blouses. 
Yokes are decidedly in style; tucks, and invariably lace, trim these thin 
material blouses. 

Foulard, taffeta, pongee, are favored, while organdies, muslin, and 
flowered material (rather old-fashioned, called "Dolly Varden" by our great- 
grandmothers) are to be worn next Summer. As a whole, materials are all 
very practical and offer a wide range of coloring that can be used for suit- 
able clothes. 

The in-between tailored' suits made of the heavier silks, such as pongee 
and rajah, are more serviceable. Hats are still very large. 

Until now complicated modes have featured the many imported French 
models which inspired New York designers. The skirts are not full but 
elaborately trimmed with lace, braid, and embroidery. foung French 
couturiers launched new modes suggesting a revival of Empire styles 
(Josephine Bonaparte), but women accustomed to more intricate styles do 

not seem to adopt these new fashions as readily as others have in past 

Evening dresses emphasize new styles of the high-waist bodice. 
The very low decolletage , such as it was observed at the Court of the first 
French Empire (which seems to be recaptured htre at the various formal 
social functions) and the long narrow skirt with the train remain in 
vogue. New and chic, is a soft chiffon ruffle of a contrasting tone ter- 
minating the hemline of the skirt. 

For daytime wear, the high neckline and long fitting sleeves are seen 

on all styles of frocks. Sometimes a certain masculine effect is rather 

dashing in a coat or tailleur for the busy young woman. Peacock blue, 

brown, and black are the colors of afternoon costumes and business outfits 

Yellow, Belgian blue, cerise, and white are for formal evening wear. 

For Fall and Winter, the coats will be shorter than the gown, and fur 

scarves, along with the enormous muff that made its appearance last Winter 

will complete Madame 's toilette. 

The parasol, which serves a double purpose, is still in vogue for 

protection f rem both rair^nd sun. For formal attire, the fan is another 
stylish adjunct. 

Milady's coiffure is the neatly marcelled hair with a small psyche 
under her extremely large chapeau elaborately trimmed with plumes or a 
profusion of various adornments. 

Oxfords are occasionally worn for walking, also with sport clothes, 
but high buttoned kid boots keep their popularity for daytime wear. 

Chinese silk is so fashionable that even redding gowns are made of 
that soft tissue., replacing the classic ivory satin or lace bridal dress 
of the past. 

lint «• 

x J. 






This is to be a remarkable year (1910) for styles; the large hats, and the 
outstanding "tailleur" (tailor-made suit) is mostly made of blue serge. 
The white blouses, still called shirtwaists, add a note of distinction to 
"-dame's severe toilette. 

English tailored modes have considerably influenced the French couturiers 
in their creations. The tailleur jacket is more or less masculine in lines 
with the shoulder sloping. Some of these costumes are called Norfolk suits; 
an unusual and odd array of light hues for these suits (champagne, pearl grey, 
and even cream color) are rather elegant, but very impractical. These styles 
are often called in England "late Edwardian". The French models with more 
or less sumptuousness continue to be favored by the high class of Americans 
who are still going to Paris regularly in quest of new styles. There is a 
noticeable display of luxurious velvet frocks among the new French models. 
For formal wear the principal characteristic is the Empire gown worn mostly 
at evening functions. 

Manufactured clothes are gaining in popularity, especially the suits and 
coats made of beautiful English woolen fabrics. 

Large hats are elaborately adorned with flowers, ribbons, and feathers, 
among which is the willow plume, the latest innovation. The invention of this 
extraordinary trimming which sells for as much as $25.00 apiece, is credited 
to a French milliner. It seems that a Parisian modiste, remaining in his shop 
after closing hours, noticed the floor was practically covered with bits of 
ostrich feathers, evidently fallen from the plumes while being curled. He then 

spent tae entire night tying three or even four of these stray bits to an 
ordinary ostrich feather, thus the "willow" plume was born and exhibited 
proudly on a large hat, almost covering the entire crown. Its popularity 
made fashion history. 

Madame* s coiffure is a mass of puffs perched on top of a marcel hairdo. 
These puffs are often bought and added to the natural hair. 

As for shoes, the pumps have just appeared, made of patent leather, 
kid, or satin for evening wear. 






191^ - The Hobble Skirt - Pointed Shoe - Large Hats - Flowers - 
1913 Fashions - Eccentricity of the Modes - The Bustle and 
Bouffant - Embroidery Trimmings - Lace 


The "hobble" skirt gives the fashionable ladies a mincing gait because 
the ridiculous garment permits only extremely short steps, and running becomes 
impossible, A pretty girl waiting for a street car, and then trying to get 
on, causes much merriment among the men who often miss their own; frequently 
help is required in order to reach the platform of that important conveyance. 

We are all looking forward to new modes which we hope will soon relieve 
us of this absurd fashion. While one realizes that present styles take 
quite awhile to go out and new ones are seldom accepted before six months or 
even a year, we are all very sure that wider skirts will be a most pleasing 

The colors are not as beautiful as they were last year; the new mustard 
tones combined with brown is more or less monotonous. But there is a green, 
worn especially for evening frocks called "Epinard" (spinach) which is rather 
smart when the frock has a cream lace bodice top set off by Merican beauty 
colored flowers. 

Short jackets (Eton style) of contrasting material from that of skirt 
are machine-braided. This new feature is very popular for afternoon outdoor 
costumes; a note of elegance is added by fur trimming. 

The Textile Industry has not yet presented any material of great novelty. 
But there are rumors of a fabric resembling silk which is shown at present 
in the various exhibitions of textile - its appearance is similar to paper. 

Decidedly, there is a note of beauty in the printed silks and velvets 
that are now featured, and women are satisfied with these elegant materials. 

The conventionalized flower and leaf design on a gray, blue, or brown 
background is frequently observed on daytime frocks especially. A rather 
large dark checked woolen material is in vogue for suits, with a touch of 
bright color (vest, collar, and cuffs). Buttons used as a sort of decorative 
alluring detail are often seen on these vests. A bit of fur trimming enhances 
the complete street costume of Madame or Mademoiselle. 

The shoes are still pointed with high heels. It is really the first 
time in years that the color of footwear seems important; even the stockings 
are not exclusively black. Hosiery occasionally comes in gray, and 
champagne-colored silks. 7/ith this "hobble" style of skirt, women are now 
conscious of the appearance of their legs. 

Hats continue to be large and worn well over the forehead; there is a 
tilt over the right eye which is smart. The trimming consists of plumes, 
aigrettes, and ribbon for the smaller chapeau. 



ELLEN AX80N WILSON (1913-1914: 

The gown on Mrs. Wilson's manikin is made of the new fabric 
(cnenille brocade). Sent by htr daugnter Margaret, it is a la mode 
in the style of 1913; that is, a hobble skirt made of rich material. 
Sleeves are short and plain at the armseyt. This stylish frock is 

closely to the figure. 

Pearls were beginning to be fashionable, ana Mrs. Wilson's manikin 
shows a long string of these; it is not said whether they are real 

Her hairdo is a set Marcel style so much worn at that time with 
several puffs on top of her head, 

A sweeping train terminates the long skirt, which does not seem 
to have the slit in front that most stylish gowns had in these days 
because of the narrow skits. 

sis© adorned with rhinestones. 

It is partly Princess style, fitted 

f I r 



The fashions now (1915) are at last easier to wear, more comfortable, 
and also more beautiful; influenced by the modern artistic movement, they 
are somewhat exaggerated, however. 

It seems as if everyone is going to Europe, Gorgeous and elegant 
Parisian frocks of surah, pongee, and taffeta silks are copied by American 
designers, but with a variety of color harmonies. 

The general cut of women's clothes has been altered in many ways, but 
the latest French models still show the narrow skirt - what may be rightly 
called "improved hobble" with a slit in the front* This new detail makes 
it more comfortable. It is still long, but permits greater freedom of 
movement than did last year's style. The bustle imitation (inspired by the 
15th Century) in back of the skirt emphasizes the small quite high waistline 
which almost encircles the bust with a wide belt. The 15th Century inspir- 
ation is also obvious in the neckline; it is often finished in a tailor-made 
style - a white collar, and a small ribbon bow. Surplice effect on the 
bodice is another smart innovation of this particular period, but no change 
seems to occur in the general cut of the sleeves tfhich continue to be short, 
long, close to the arm, or often even kimona style on many afternoon dresses. 

For evening wear, gowns are occasionally almost sleeveless - long narrow 
thin crepe-de-chine scarves, terminated by a tassel, are gracefully thrown 
over one's shoulders. Short jackets, elaborately trimmed with fur, will be 
a part of Milady's trousseau for the cold season. 

Colors are limited, with practically no variety; green, gray, Belgian 
blue, nearly always relieved by a touch of white, generally in the form of a 
vest and collar, especially for daytime frocks. 


C H A P T E R F_I_F_T_£;_L_N 





New Mode? - The W&r Years 1914 to 1918 - The Armistice - 
1919 Mod«8 - Radical Styles - Paris Dictates - New 
Materials - New colors - Original Trimmings. 


The narrow skirt, which had been the most remarkable feature of 1912 
and 1913, was still worn during the first part of this year. But the Fall 
brings in new modes that are much more comfortable and more in keeping with 
the present world conditions. 

The most noticeable change in women* s clothes is the shorter and fuller 
skirt (just above the boots) which is shown on practically every French model. 
This new innovation may be termed drastic; however, it is adopted by a large 
majority of women who are pleased with this unusual deviation from the general 
skirt styles of the past years. There are also full overskirts worn with 
narrower ones, and this style is considered very chic. 

T,r hat is called a "jumper dress" worn over a white blouse, is smart, 
especially among young girls. An entirely new fad is the pocket, either on 
one side or on both sides of the full skirt. 

The radical change on Madame^ costume is, no doubt, inspired and 
accentuated by the occurrence of the European conflict, which influences the 
French couturiers in a large measure. Lace collars often adorn V-shaped 
neckline which remains in style. 

As for the materials that are mostly in vogue, taffeta, serge, tweeds 
for suits, crepe-de-chine, and for Summer,- organdie, gingham, linen, surah, 


pongee silks, continue to be in style. But velvet and broadcloth keep their 
popularity for Fall and Vtinter garments. There is a new fabric called arti- 
ficial silk which is rather stiff resembling silk and mostly used for men's 
shirts. It promises to replace some of our favorite tissues, but it is far 
from popular at present. It is rumored that this new material is being perfected 
to take an important place in the textile industry. 

Until now, women were satisfied with silk, cotton, linen, and wool, and 
they do not feel kindly towards this new fabric, which looks too much like paper. 
It is shown a great deal in the textile centers, and causes no end of merriment. 

Pls early as the Spring of 1902, a suit of this odd imported fabric was 
worn by a stylish American girl who proudly boasted of her unusual good fortune 
in having such an original and chic outfit. The skirt was full, as it was 
worn at that time, with the jacket short and well tailored. She wore it several 
times on pleasant sunny days, but on one sad occasion when she was caught in 
the rain, not only did this lovely outfit shrink dreadfully, but it acted like 
paper and large pieces were torn right off from the dress. Her dismay and 
embarrassment left no alternative - she had to resort to a carriage to get home. 

Even now (1914), improved as this new textile is, which appears occasion- 
ally on the market, woven with finer threads, it seems extremely doubtful that 
it could be used as lavishly as cotton or silk. With the dyes of gorgeous 
colors difficult to find here in the United States, while the war lasts, there 
are very few new shades obvious on the new models. Khaki color, however, is 
in the limelight, especially for suits. There is also an abundance of black 
and white combinations. * 

Trimmings, such as lace, fagotting, and embroidery, are used profusely on 
all kinds of frocks. There is a note of symbolism on the many and varied motifs 

of embroidery, such as stars, etc., a certain Indian influence in embroidery. 

Madame f s chapeau is large, trimmed with plumes around the crown. An 
important part of her costume is tae leather bag. 

As a whole, despite the war in Europe, fashions are still triumphantly 
glamorising American women's life in the matter of dress. 



Europe is aflame with destruction; it is most astonishing that Paris 
designers are sending such lovely models during this troubled period. 
The cut of their styles is not radical in the general sense of this word, 
but there is a certain military appearance in the outdoor garment especially 
inspired by the conflict. 

The majority of women wear their gowns short to the ankle, just above 
the buttoned boot. A very full over skirt remains fashionable, and the 
bustle effect has completely disappeared. A waistline, emphasized by a wide 
end soft girdle, is a feature of the season. Finished with a lace collar or 
chiffon ruffles, the V-neck is not too low, but extremely feminine looking. 
Kimona sleeves are stylish and popular. Fur collars and cuffs are the high 
light of the loose and full coats. As a most practical and charming innovation, 
the jumper dress is gaining in popularity. 

Belgian blue, a new wisteria shade, also khaki color, relieved by white 
ruffles or lace, are the colors for afternoon gowns. Black remains a favorite 
for certain occasions. 

Madame' s chapeau is the ''cloche" trimmed very simply with a quill or a 
ribbon bow in the back. 

Low shoes are favored by the majority of women, because of their 
suitability, comfort, ease, and also cheaper, due to the high cost of leather. 




This gracious First Lady of the Land was not only stately and 
handsome, but her clothss wsrs stylish and chic in svary detail. 

The gswn on her manikin is mads of black vslvot rslisvsd only 
by grosn bsads *t ths squaro low docollotago. It is trimmsd with 
jot on illusion (tulls). Ths slosvss ars short but torminatod 
with a point hanging past tho hips. Ths skirt is narrow as ths 
fashion dictatod during World War I. Drap*d from tho *iaist, tho 
train is also narrow and not vory long. It is said that this dross 
was among tho formal gowns of hor trou3soau; sho woro it in Paris at 
sororal social functions when sho accompanied her husband, President 
Wilson, on his famous trip to the European continents. Her Hair 
is dressed in a mass of beautiful curls. 




In Europe the war continues with no sign of peace, and we are still a 
neutral country, nevertheless, styles are being imported from Paris. The American 
designers, just back from the Paris openings, expressed their astonishment and 
dismay; they were puzzled as to what they were going to accept of all these 
apparently impractical styles of the Second Empire which had obviously influenced 
the French couturiers. These fashions could hardly fit into our modern American 
life. The wide-spread skirts seemed almost unwearable and the picturesque 
Empress Eugenie silhouette of 1860 appeared absolutely out of place in our 
present mode of living. But after taking these French models home, the American 
couturiers realized that the fashions of 1916, though designed from the Second 
Empire, adapt themselves beautifully to the American ways of life, as the hoop 
is gracefully placed between the hips and the knee, thus allowing the usual 
freedom of movement necessary to various activities. It is said that these 
extremely wide skirts with the "bouffant" effect take as much as 15-yards of 
material as compared to the five and six yards of a few years ago. 

This drastic change of feminine fashion influenced the New York couturiers 

after it reached our shores. They skilfully modified these fashions for 
American needs, though the main lines of all models remain entirely Parisian 
in effect. Our soft, easy to drape textiles are instrumental in the adaptation 
of these French modes, and even with plaits, shirring, and bouffants, there is 
still an appearance of straight line in the feminine silhouette. The sleeve 
styles vary - they are short and long; the neckline V-shape or square, and 
some are very low. 

A very happy event of 1916 in the Paris world of fashions is the return 
of Madame Paquin as the director of that old and famous house of styles. Not 
only is she an exceptional designer of feminine attire, but it is said that she 
also combines with that artistic and business ability the qualities of beauty 
and charm. 

It is rumored that these general modes may remain such as they are 
until the end of the war, and that date, of course, is problematical. 
But the French woman, busy with her numerous war problems, wears the same 
tailor-made clothes, what is generally called "tailleur". Eton jackets 
seem to be a favorite for Summer fashions. 



... f>jp*. 


go*n is quite ret 

soft g< 



■ * 


Among the new evening dresses from Paris in the Spring of 1918 is the 
12th century tunic which influenced eve/iing gowns as well as those of the less 
formal occasions. However, there exists a vast difference in the effect 
of the informal and the formal women's attire. 

For evening wear a narrow, somewhat clinging, slip of satin or metallic 
cloth over which is draped a transparent and much wider overdress. It is 
almost always made of thin fabric and is sometimes quite voluminous. The 
slip is cut like a chemise; the decolletage is low, while the sleeves are 
long and ample like the Moyen Age style. 

The whole effect of such an evening gown is quite remarkable in its 
beauty. Douce t presents his fashion in a most unique manner - an under slip 
fitted like a corselet, with a short skirt of soft gold tissue. The undulating 
movement of the body is really more graceful when it is observed under the 
transparent chemise overdress. There are chemise gowns of rare lace, the lace 
having been dyed soft shades of rose, cloudy gray, or pale blue. Those marvelous 
creations ere worn over slim underslips of steel silver or gold tissue. A 
brilliant note of color is produced by a sash, either of Chinese blue taffeta 
or of Chinese red brocaded silk. Wide ribbons are often used with one end 
trailing at the back panel. This effect adds to the elegance of the short 





A great variety of models are still coming from Paris this Fall (1. 18), 
and the established fashion of the Panier is admitted by all stylish women. 
At times it appears rather simple, yet it is also occasionally exaggerated, 
especially on evening gowns for young women. After wearing straight lines 
for such a long period, one is relieved with this significant change in the 
skirt style. Bouffants of all kinds feature the general style of the gown. 
Flounces are also favored in the variety of their mode - as many as five of 
these, varied in their width and style, adorn the ankle-length skirts quite 
elaborately. These skirts are called short, but in Paris they are barely 
above the ankle. 

The sleeves are worn short, long, and elbow length, and are close, 
fitting nicely into the arm hole. The long ones are often rather wide at 
the bottom and lined with a different colored silk. 

With the natural waistline, a bodice is occasionally somewhat blousy, 
being slightly raised when hip bouffants feature theskirt styles. The bodice 
is cut very low, especially in the back, for evening wear. It seems quite 
astonishing that women should expose so much of their skin. The effect of a 
certain wrinkled fullness above the waistline at the front is very popular. 
For daytime wear, the neckline is rather high, sometimes finished with a small 
bow for a tailor-made masculine effect. 

As a whole, the gowns are more or less complicated with the paniers and 
bouffants on the hips, then the full skirt over a close fitting underskirt 
generally of a shade lighter than the dress. The jackets, knee-length or 
below the larger part of the hips, are tailor-made with a collar and revers; 
pockets are conspicuous by the flap that completes them. 



. J 


The fabrics are still beautiful in their variety of new shades. The 
silks, Chippendale foulard, Paulette satin, Tricot silks (Jersey), are worn 
at all times, it seems; black velvet remains a favorite, however. 

An overdress for evening wear is made of tulle or Paulette chiffon, 
both of which are thin and delicate tissues. Gloveskin, duvetyn, an^ 
Kitten' s-ear crepe are extremely popular for formal occasions, especially in 
a panier effect. Black velvet, so flattering to the figure, is also used for 
evening frocks. As for trimmings, feathers are employed, not always ostrich 
but also pheasant and chicken feathers dyed in the various colors of the gowns. 
They are chic. 

A bodice, designed of flowers and joined to a black skirt on which red 
and purple bells fall from a girdle of one kind of flowers, is the smart 
creation of one French designer. The colors, launched by another couturier, 
are mostly purple, green, gold, rose, and bright red. 

The furs, either worn as a trimming or for practical purposes, are 
caracul and ermine. The usual Kolinsky, grey squirrel, and opossum still 
remain in vogue. Oueer combinations of certain fabrics, like linen trimmed 
with bits of fur, are occasionally seen at various stylish places on the 
Cote d*Azur, France. 

Printed in beautiful Persian and Indian designs, panne velvet is extremely 
popular. Blue seems to be replaced by red and bright green, but the red is 
ruby shade. There is still a great deal of black and white used by some de- 
signers, while others feature a bluish shade of gray and use black with red or 

Different designers show various modes of paniers. Some are merely a 
graceful sort of "bouffants", while others are voluminous. The latter are 
called "Le Diamant Noir". Tith this large panier the skirt is a bit longer 
in front and back than on the sides. 


r-rfp pc r ft 



A striking model seen in New York, was a black frock trimmed with a red 
called "Jour de Gloire". It is hard to define the exact meaning of this name. 
A certain Russian influence (the war is still going on) may be observed in 
some of those new models imported from Paris, These very furry frocks are 
really overtrimmed with that blsck fur called "Moscow". Fven monkey fur 
seems a favorite on many of the styles of Fall garments. 

Hats are of every description, but becomingly designed for every shape 
of face, mushroom brim, or a tailored chapeau, which is extremely simple in 
line, quite often entirely without trimming. 

The shoe is not a serious problem since the pump with high heels and 
buckle is worn on all occasions, but the Oxford low shoe still keeps its 
popularity and vogue for shopping and daytime wear. 



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FOURTH PERIOD ( G • nt . ) 



1920 Readjustment Period - 1921 - 1922 - 1923 - Prosperity - 
Bright Coloring - Wealth of Beautiful Materials and Furs - 
New ^ra on Clothes — New Fabrics in Vogue. 


Among the remarkable styles of this season, organdie and serge serve to 
create two distinct kinds of silhouette, one slender, the other one "bouffant", 
but the slim silhouette is rather new. The side effect of bows and panels 
remain in favor, also accordeon plaited ruffles on skirts and at the neck. 
As for the neckline, it varies very little, either batteau or V-shape rather low, 
but mostly round. Collars are occasionally high, and often rolled over, but 
nearly always elaborately trimmed. 

A number of stylish dresses of tulle, net, lace, are transparent, and for 
a "robe d'interieur" (afternoon dress) a light colored tulle adorned with 
smpll silver flowers, around the neck and on the sash, is an example. Trimmings 
are odd, and embroidery is everywhere on the gowns and blouses which continue 
to be fashionable. Many blouses are made of thin white fabric, handkerchief 

linen, marquisette and muslin. They are nearly always overtrimraed with ruffles, 
lrce and tucks. fn overblouse worn with a knife plaited or plain skirt, is 
long, about seven inches below the waist line, and the hem of these overblouse s 
is more or less fancy. le find that embroidery motifs are mostly of Persian 
influence. Fringe and flat ribbon flowers trim daytime and evening gowns. 
There are many styles of sleeves, long, puffy, and short, elbow length, finished 
with ruffles. 

1^3 \$ » 

Winter furs are not at all popular, the high and rolled over collar 

on the cloth coats making fur unnecessary. Fall modes may possibly bring 

new innovations in the line of outdoor garments, but fur pieces are not as chic 

as they have been at certain times in the past years. 

As a whole, there are many clever fashion schemes, though women's elaborate 
dress is extremely artistic in character. The many color harmonies, mostly 
complementary, are varied and numerous in their unusual arrangements, but 
black remains a favorite, relieved with artistic embroidered motifs of antique 
inspiration. Sunset hues are often combined with blue as the main color, 
also with dark and light contrasts. 

This is actually a readjustment year - it is really the first time since 
the Armistice that women can depart from the conservative and practical ways 
of the war years. Cosmetics are used profusely. With night life, dancing 
and travel, the fair sex becomes daring, and every phase of la mode appears 
exaggerated - even posture (with the short skirt) in fashion. Odd movements 
of the figure are noticeable. An influence of importance is the cinema (movie). 
Young girls especially, often take their inspiration from a favorite actress. 

In the limelight this year, is the permanent wave appearing in the 
United States. American women rejoice in this new method of curling their hair - 
that coiffure is supposed to remain in place almost a year. Introduced in 
London by Charles Nesler about the turn of the Century, the machine for permanent 
waving, was not used before the war. However, this hairdo is extremely expensive, 
at present. 

Hats are large and medium size, worn almost over the eyes and with a veil; 
trimmings are not elaborate but ribbon remains the favorite. 

"hoes are low with a pointed toe and high French heels, made of kid with 
or without buckles, but the high buttoned shoe has not entirely disappeared 
from the market. 






D p STYLE OF 1921 

A gala and again, historic influence of the French modes is felt, although 
it is more or less difficult to tell at a glance just what has been borrowed 
from these historic period costumes. 

There is an evening dress called Robe de Style which is a creation 
launched by one of the designers. The bodice recalls the Italian Renaissance 
period finished with a lace Bertha. This unusual gown is apparently gaining 
in vogue, especially for formal occasions. 

For evening wear, the natural waistline seems to prevail, sometimes 
almost imitating the Empire style.. The girdleless long gown, moulded to the 
figure, is decidedly ""foyen /ge" inspiration. The superb glamorous effect 
of the 17th fentury Venetian influence is also noticeable on gowns worn on 
festive occasions only, but the drapery is decidedly of Egyptian inspiration. 
Of Oriental influence the bright colors, especially in the embroidery motifs, 
are inspired from a variety of exquisite Persian and Chinese designs. 

borrowed! from the East the colors are gay and beautiful. Pansy purple 
is favored as a popular tone, while Oxford gray, black (for coats especially), 
brown, beige, red (used moderately only) lead for the Fall outfit. Oreen 
velvet, and metal brocade frocks are excellent features, also georgette crepe 
in bright blues and amber for formal occasions. A startling combination is 
a tailored frock of brilliant yellow velvet fitted with a sort of monk hood 
cape that may cover the entire head. 

The furs are nutria, leopard, skunk, chinchilla, °ersian lamb, and kolinsky. 
Large collars of bear fur called "Labrador" on the evening velvet cloaks are 
the latest must. 




As mentioned in the fashion journal ef 1921, the Pan-American Fair 
was such an important event that many ladies ef social standing found it 
an uausual opportunity te prepare a wardrobe in the latest style. 

Mrs. Harding^ dress in the Natienal Museum is eae that she were at 
a special ent ertainment ia her hener, in the Pan-American Building. 
Fashiened with a shert skirt, which emphasizes tht aew mode ef that edd 
peried, it is draped te shew her white satia slippers adorned with rhino- 
stene buckles, evidently te match the elaberate pearl and rhinestone 
embroidery of her gown. Ornamented similarily, is the lew square decolle- 
tage. Curieusly eneugh the embroidery pattera is just pre+ty, apparently 
meaningless, ae symbol ef any kind seems obvious, contrary to the garniture 
ef so nany ether ge\*as in the collection at the Smithsonian Institute. 
The front skirt panel is a continuation of the bodice, and of course beltless. 
Hanging separately from the waist is the train covered with black silk net. 

A very unique styled evening wrap of peacock blue tone, trimmed with 
gold motifs was sent along later, ana a feather collar so wuch a la mode at 
that time. 






The year of 19'1< may be considered a period of decidedly radical 
changes, and looking over the new styles, one sees that the main feature 
is the long slim line of the smooth and slender silhouette with the belt line 
almost at the hips. The high close-fitting collar is shown again on many 
of the ^arisisn models. The tailor-made suit has a straight line jacket 
over a one-piece frock of the same material. It is quite often of velour de 
laine (woolen velvet), or another kind of woolen cloth called wool cotele 
(a sort of striped material) but the popular gabardine is favored for outdoor 
garments. These charming and elegant frocks are quite often trimmed with 
the expensive chinchilla or 7.ibeline. 

A great deal of fine silk tissues are displayed on the manufactured 
day and evening frocks, and a marked tendency for extravagance, luxury, and 
frivolity, emphasizes this particular period of American prosperity. There 
are costly metal fabrics of gold and silver threads, subtle light and flimsy 
and as easy to drape as crepe de chine. A thin artificial tissue, soft and 
of unusual oeauty, resembling silk, has appeared on the market, but silk of 
all descriptions remains the favorite among American women. Silk jersey 
was a popular material for suits this past Summer, worn with white voile or 
marquisette blouses elaborately trimmed with real filet lace. The outfit 
proved to be a most satisfactory travelling costume. Woolen fabrics that 
are like brocades, and corduroys also make up in beautiful three-piece frocks. 
For the blouse type of jacket, the fur band garniture is Russian in appearance 
this may be sable or chinchilla. 



Fashions are comfortable and clothes comparatively easy to pack for 
travel. Ready made gowns and suits are expensive and many women either 
have their dresses made or often make them at home with the rid of commercial 
patterns- Some skirts are narrow, others rather full and often plaited; 
they are not quite ankle langth, about eight inches from the ground. The 
box plait is revived on many of the stylish frocks. The neckline is still 
low, V-shape, square, and occasionally bateau, which seems to be a favorite 
style. Long and set in, the sleeves are without gathering in the armseye. 
They are occasionally finished with a cuff. There is a flare below the 
elbow, often gorgeously embroidered like the bodice. Even the style of the 
sleeve called "Bishop" may be observed on some of these late models. 

Hats resemble the cloche worn well over the forehead, with little or no 
trimming, but Aigrettes are fashionable on the chapeaux, made of felt or 
velvet. Large ones are trimmed with plumes, or with gorgeous Autumn leaves 
or fruits, often called Delia Robbia hats. 

High boots are fast disappearing to be replaced by the low pump, and 
low fancy shoes which are gaining in popularity. The style of this new 
footwear varies very little, mostly black and tan Oxfords for everyday wear; 
the pumps are black patent leather or suede with high or Cuban heel. 


We are told that the fashion shows in °aris for Summer styles were gay 
evening functions, where fans and cooling drinks were offered to the astonished 
guests as the sumptuous modes were exhibited during the warm evenings. 

The silhouette remains tube-like with the skirt full and above ankle length; 
no appearance of waist line whatsoever. What Paris called the "Tubeline" is 
a straight foundation for many of these very charming frocks. The low girdle 
is just a band of the material or a narrow gold galloon. Sometimes decorative 
embroidery features these low belts. 

There are also some ostrich feather trimmings and much less embroidery 
this season, but beautiful in their designs. These embroidered motifs appear 
to be inspired from Byzantine and Persian decorations. The neckline varies 
in many different styles, but the "bateau neck" remains in favor on the new 
models. As for the sleeves, they are long, often finished with an elaborate 
cuff. Bands of fur lead as a trimming on all parts of the gown. There are 
also many metal fabrics even for daytime wear. Tassels of silver and gold 
appear on coats and gowns. 

In this fashion world of 1923, Paris designs frocks that resemble cloaks 
and wraps that look like dresses. 

Velvet, chiffon velvet, wool velvet, tulle, all kinds of silk, Georgette 
crepe, Crepe de Chine, Brocades, are the materials in vogue for Fall and Winter. 
The year 1923 may boast of taking the prize in the many colors that have been 
observed on imported models and gowns designed and manufactured in New York. 
While Royal Blue oredominates, the red and orange include henna, toast, rust, 
brick, cinnamon, brown and leather. The blues take in Sorrento, navy, Egyptian, 
and tile, and for paler colors, we have a wide range of mauve, wisteria, orchid, 
and perri winkle. Beige and green are passe, but they have not entirely disappeared. 





Change of Silhouette - 19H4 to 1931 - ?fealth of Trimmings - 
Embroidery and Beading - Egyptian Influence - Excavation in Egypt - 
New Kind of Jewelry Called Costume Jewelry. 

The smartness of the slender silhouette is especially emphasized 
in the fashion shows of imported frocks of 1924 - the chemise lines and 
the draperies for the various styles of tunic so fashionable at present, 
fail to widen the skirts which still remain narrow. 

Archeologists who have been extremely interested lately in the many 
treasures discovered from the tomb of King Tutankh-fimen, are the cause of 
the extraordinary Egyptian influence noticeable on the modes designed in 
^aris at present, and the new French models are beautiful and original, 
though rather severe in lines. Besides the wool "tallleur masculin" 
(mannish suit), we notice many are made of satin relieved by a frilled blouse 
of white satin. Accordion plaited jabots are smart with one of those plain 
frocks, also with the Kasha cloth ensembles. The sweater blouses embroidered 
in Egyptian and Indian designs, are especially chic. There is a stunning type 
of evening gown cut on the Moyen lines, often made of velvet or shimmering 
silk, closely fitted to the figure, and finished with a lace flounce at the 
bottom of the skirt. For both daytime and evening wear, the square neckline 
is replacing the bateau, but a high collar is often worn with the "tailleur." 
The sleeves continue to be set in, long and plain, occasionally finished with 




a white cuff, but evening frocks remain sleeveless. A feature of many new 
styles from ^aris designers emphasizes embroidery (Egyptian motifs) on black 
background. But in New York the leading couturiers and manufacturers 
adopting these fashions, take liberties in the color arrangements for their 
own models with changes on the variety of trimming and details. 

A special style of 19^4 is the smart neglige designed for the leisure 
hours of Madame. Appropriate at all times of the day, from breakfast to the 
informal dinner, and even to bed time, this style of dress is designed and 
made of crepe de Chine, antique cashmere, even cotton, with a shiny silky 
finish. These lounging robes are sometimes quilted, embroidered, or trimmed 
with fringe, occasionally tailor-made, adorned with braid or binding of a 
contrasting shade. The sleeves of these house dresses resemble the large 
"Moyen Age" style. 

The colors are practically the same as last year except for a new coffee 
shade often combined with white; beige, and sand color, are observed here 
and there. 

Hats are small and may easily be traced to the "cloche" disguised, 
however, by clever fashion artifices. Influenced by the Directoire period 
styles it is original and chic, as it is gracefully perched on Madame's head 
hiding the short hair coiffure still very much "a la mode." Larger chaoeaux 
are trimmed with flowers placed in a tailor-made fashion on the crown. 
p smart innovation is an embroidered monogram on a ribbon around the crown of 
a rather high hat. The cockade of ribbon is often seen on these irregular 
brim chapeaux. Short hair coiffure favored by stylish women is composed of 
a mass of curls, the permanent wave aaving gained in vogue, even among the 

working class of ^merican women. 

Shoes do not vary considerably - for daytime wear Oxfords remain in style 
while pumps (of different kinds of leather) are worn on festive occasions. 
Satin shoes are chic with a silver buckle and high heels. The short dress 
necessitates the silk stockings which all women are now wearing. 



The beautiful gown on the manikin representing the charming 
Mrs. Goolidge at the National Museum in Washington, is a unique but 
beautiful American Beauty colored chiffon velvet dress. 

The cut of this rich frock is identical with the boyish appear- 
ance of the 1923-1924 modes: a straight-line effect is featured in 
every part of the dress. It is sleeveless, with a V-line decolle- 
tage; not too low, however. The skirt has three flounces, and remains 
quite short in front. The long and narrow train looks as if it were 
suspended from the shoulders, separately from the gown. Velvet 
pumps, with a less pointed toe than generally worn at that time, com- 
plete the costume of this First Lady of the Land 

Mrs. Coolidge's coiffure, dressed neatly, may have been the new 
permanent or a marcel wave. 



x r 1 


No "headline" change in fashion has occurred at the early Spring opening 
in °aris. There are, however, slight details on frocks that are still cut on 
the same main lines of 1924, the silhouette remaining straight and boyish, 
the skirt very short and very full, the neck V-shape or round. It is rather 
with a dismal anticipation that one realizes the marked influence of modern art 
on women's clothes - the skirt, for instance, cut in sections and sewed up 
again in odd ways; the waistline hidden with the straight bodice attached to a 
mass of ruffles; skirts full and overtrimmed. In a word, this display of 
complicated and elaborate affairs called "frocks a la mode" is disappointing. 
There are, however, certain innovations such as "jupe culotte" for sport costume, 
introduced by a few great designers. Also evening dresses are graceful and 
adorned with draperies of rich flowery lames. 

Many of the new stylish gowns, day or evening, are sleeveless and with 
low decolletage, sometimes trimmed with fringe, but nearly always lavishly 
embroidered with beads, etc. The one-sided effect for the train is rather 
astonishing, but details on practically the same straight-line frocks are 
numerous and clever. The flare on all skirts is low with no appearance of a 
normal waist line. 

Interesting tones emphasize blues, -crow blue, and navyj the browns,— 
cinnamon, caramel, ginger, burned bread, etc., and the "purplish" color called 
violine, replacing black which is trying its best to disappear from Milady's 
wardrobe. The reds from the sealing wax to wine color are also favored. Green 
runs from Nile to Myrtle, including "lettuce", "spinach", etc. Ensembles in 
pastel colors, such as rose, pink, mauve, pale green, flax blue, occasionally 
white, and the new green called billiard green, are made of silk, tailored 
with long narrow sleeves. 


?r S- ? 4 

The thin fabrics are still in vogue, being used in a very large quantity; 
silk, chiffon, voile, marquisettes, woolens, and rayon, which is replacing 
silk in many of the new frocks; it is soft and satisfactory meterial dyed in 
gorgeous hues. 

Hats are practically the same as those of the previous season, covering 
the head as far as the eyes, and all shaped similarly. 

Shoes vary considerably, but are cut on about the same lines - pointed 
toe, buckles, and high heels. Not only are these pretty shoes made of all 
kinds of leather for daytime wear, but satin footwear completes an evening 
formal "toilette." 



The silhouette of September of this year remains practically the same as in 
the Spring, and a great many coat dresees are still very much in vogue. Frocks 
of dark background crepe-de-Chine with white or a very light shade polka dots 
from large to small, quite often embroidered, feature Fall modes of afternoon 
dresses. But the main characteristic of this year seems to be the continu- 
ation of the flat boyish silhouette, concealing the graceful feminine figure. 

An outstanding mode of the fall is the very short sxirt that lends itself 
to ft rather original effect of fullness on the sides, with the belt very low, 
imitating the "Moyen Age" costume. The neckline is a low V-shape, while 

the sleeves, plain at the top, are wide and full at the wrist, often finished 
with a narrow cuff or lined with a contrasting colored silk. Capes are worn 
on all occasions, especially when the gown is made of thia fabric. Also, 
short velvet jackets trimmed y ith fur collars are worn on festive occasions. 

Embroidery is the keynote of adornment with the colored touch of contrasted 

harmony. These motifs are done by hand with coarse silk or wool. No fine 


stitches characterise this new kind of/trimming composed of definite designs 
of fruit or flowers in their natural hues. The sleeves are quite often the 
only part of the gown thus embroidered elaborately. Fringe appears on several 
of the French models. 

White is a favorite tone of the season, occasionally relieved by a fancy- 
colored girdle. There is also that new shade called "zeppelin" sort of bluish 

The chapeau, still called "cloche", is a toaue of velvet and panne velvet 
in dark hues; it is trimmed with contrasting color material. A special style 
of h«t« is called "Gigolo". We almost regret the lovely crinoline hats and 
cowboy type brim hats made of fine straw of the past summer. 

As for shoes, no new mode appears. The pump with a buckle or a bow, 
features the dressy footwear of the season. 



The outstanding and most interesting characteristic of the new Fall and 
winter modes, is the appearance of exuuisite artificial fabrics. °rinted in 
artistic but rather small designs, the velvets are intriguing; often combined 
with silk or satin crepes, they are used for both formal and daytime frocks. 
The transparent velvets, the brocaded chiffon, and the lames, are all flexible 
tissues of great beauty and softness. The imported collection of models 
offers unlimited choice among these easy-to-drape tissues. There is also no 
end to the variety of woolen materials suitable for daytime wear; some have a 
lustrous surface resembling broadcloth, though much thinner. These exquisite 
fabrics are especially adapted for ensembles. Other woolen textiles look like 
some of the old fashioned covert cloth in tneir woven patterns often flecked 
with white, esoecially adapted for sport wear. For the blouse worn with the 
fashionable ;, tailleur", the most luxurious fabrics are used; this glamorizes a 
feminine outfit to a high degree. All these very exciting lames, satins, etc. 
show the influence (though vaguely) of the romantic period of 1830 in France. 

Fluttering, full and short skirts feature the straight line silhouette 
which seems to remain in vogue. We still occasionally observe the one-sided 
effect on frocks; the sleeve is set in, long and plain, and tailor made. There 
is a marked variety in the style of the neckline which is bateau, V-shaped, or 
oointed on the left side. 

Definitely, this is tne year of the pajamas; indeed, this costume is con- 
sidered elegant. The numerous styles that were introduced at the recent fashion 
shows, offer a still wider selection to women who have already aopeared at the 
various beaches and resorts in this style of attire. Now we have this useful 
costume for Madame' s boudoir, and even for morning wear in the intimacy of her 

drawing room while reeding the best seller or writing yesterday's diary. It is 
made of crepe de Chine, silk, jersey, plain or trimmed. This kind of psjsuEas 
differs vastly from the plain sleeping garment of the past years. Soft and 
charming, the style which is especially chic and feminine, occupies an important 
place in Madame* s wardrobe. An enthusiastic acceptance of this mode has 
caused some of our designers to object, fearing that women's dress might possibly 
become masculine or even standardized. 

Hats are plain, occasionally made of the same material as the ensemble 
coat; very little trimming or none at all. 

Silver and gold shoes are still worn evenings. But the disappearance 
of very high heels is surprising. 

>fc uro lo 


During the beginning of this year (1929) women were asking designers 
what might be new in store for "la mode" forecast. This was almost a sign 
that a radical change of silhouette might have been predicted, and not too 
far in the future. But, as the seasons follow one another, the outlook for 
a dissolution of the present general style seems hardly probable; in fact, no 
great change is even slightly indicated. The basic line remains boyish and 
straight and practically the same as in 1928 except for a few additions of 
details or adornment, which, in many cases, glamorize considerably the 1929 
costume, giving the mode an appearance at least of novelty. 

Considering first the sport clothes that have kept the same lines as they 
were at the Fall opening of 1928, there are three definite schemes: One piece 
dress, the jumper short skirt, and jackets of various lengths. Generally 
speaking, the one outstanding change in dress seems to be a narrow belt placed 
higher in the waist. Of Persian inspiration, a flaring skirt on a tight fitting 
body was featured in the recent fashion shows. Symetrically long at both sides 
with or without the back panel, the skirt with an uneven hemline continues to 
be an interesting mode of the winter 1929. The neckline is most attractive in 
its varied and numerous styles. It is pointed in front, often finished with a 
cravat tied with a bow on the left shoulder. For evening wear it is extremely low 

Again Egyptian influence is rather striking - this time in the general cut 
of some of tne most glamorous evening gowns observed at an unusually chic Winter 
style show. These beautiful gowns had the popular long back panel. The marked 
variety of sleeve lengths and fullness is most interesting - they are full at 
the elbow, other times at the wrist. Sleeveless gowns are seen everywhere. 

The new frocks made of charming and original prints are exciting in their 
uni me and fascinating designs. Silks or Georgette crepes replacing the 
chiffons have large motifs of vague decorative designs or conventionalized flowers 

iuodflw to 

in artistic and beautiful hues; complementary and contrasted harmonies are to 
be noticed. The silver lame still holds its own for formal wear. Lace is 
used as well as large open mesh net and tulle which the p arisian couturiers 
are featuring on their recent evening models. In the field of materials, 
the trend continues for crepe satin, transparent velvet (embroidered with 
spangles), broche taffetas and moire. 

Although colors are gorgeous, black still leads as the practical basic 
tone of the season. Other fashionable hues are grayish greens, absinthe and 
tilleul. Pumpkin yellow is noticeably gaining in popularity, but there is a 
long renge of pale hues somewhat off the white - these are pink, pale nasturtiums 
and violine. The blues are midnight, sapphire, but beige is also a good shade 
for evening. One often sees a blouse of peach pink worn with the popular black 
skirt. Red is favored for both day and evening wear; chic and attractive, is 
a red coat, trimmed with Astrakan fur. 

An important feature of the Winter coat, is the big fur collar which is 

kept open almost to tne waistline, exposing the throat and neck of the wearer. 

The V neckline of the frock is extremely low, and the coat is held in place by 

Mademoiselle's dainty gloved right hand. With an extremely short skirt, very 

thin/iincierwear, low shoes and no rubbers or overshoes, she only pretends to be 

warmly dressed. The furs are Astrakan, Persian lamb, oppossum, seal, and fitch. 

Hats are more or less alluring in their still popular cloche type. 

Practically without trimming, Madame' s chapeau is made of various kinds of 

material for the South or French Riviera, but felt remains very much a la mode. 

It is to be noticed that the right ear is absolutely couverte (covered) ; for this 

style of tilt the coiffure must be arranged with special care. 

Shoes do not seem to offer much variety, but one has a long range of 
beautiful low shoes to choose from. The pumps keep in style. The most remarkable 
feature of women's footwear is the total absence of overshoes, no matter how cold 
and stormy the we&ther. .A very unfortunate and sad reality is the large number of 
beautiful young girls that fill our sanitariums. It seems as if everyone has a 
cold that sometimes can be cured, other times proves fatal. The very thin silky 
underwear, the noticeable rarity of woolens, the silk stockings, and the absence 
of rubbers, may be the cause of this deplorable state of affairs. 

) u 

LOU HENRY HOOVER (1929-1933) 

The fashions of that time were more or less complicated in the 

matter of draperies and folds. 

Mrs. Hoover's dress is without 

trimming of any kind - embroidery or lace. 

It is made of ice-green, 

easy to drape lovely satin with emphasis on pointed overskirt flounces, 
a cowl shaped decolletage, cape sleeves* The blouse effect of the 
bodice almost covers the narrow cord belt. The very full skirt is 
finished with a short round train. 

Mrs. Hoover's dignified appearance added to the beauty of a lireek 
inspired dress. She wore no jewelry. Her hairdo appears to be a 
marcel wave neatly seo almost covering the ears. 


x I 


In the matter of style this is definitely not a very important year (1930) 
principally because of the strong wave of economy forced upon the large majority 
of women whose income is considerably reduced by the Depression which has 
apparently affected the world of fashion. It is, therefore, interesting to 
note that practically no drastic change of lines seems even apparent for the 
coming of the new season. Efforts to launch modes in 1930 with absolutely 
radical lines have been unsuccessful, because of purses flattened by the 
Depression. Although beautiful materials and trimmings of all description 
continue to appear in New York and other American cities, designers are trying 
vainly to revolutionize details and adjuncts on the new clothes. 

However, the materials are priced considerably lower, end it is with real 
joy that one sees the avalanche of cheaper, ready-to-wear women's clothes in 
all sizes and in such a wonderful array of colors. Even Parisian styles 
emphasize the same main lines of the neck, the short skirt, and sad but true, 
the same straight boyish silhouette. 

In spite of their similarity of styles, the 1930 frocks are well designed, 
well cut, and artistically put together, so that their general appstrance is 
the last word in beauty. 

Black, which has been a basic color for sometime, is occasionally relieved 
by embroidered motifs of new bright hues. There are several chic innovations, 
however, that are launched at the various fashion shows, such as an enveloping 
scarf, so large as to give the impression of an evening wrap. 

The suits are elegantly fashioned of serge, woolen velour and camel's 
heir. Many of the modish coats have collars of the same material. 

oo lo 

Fur coats are not as numerous as last year, but they are made of paractically 
the same fur ss in 1929 - dyed muskrat, Persian lamb, seal, opossum, and 
Hudson seal. 

Clothes are so inexpensive that interest seems to grow as time passes. 
Everyone, even those of moderate means are able at last to renew their ward- 
robe. Of course, a certain number of women are wearing the same outfit 
season after season, waiting, as it were, for the launching of new lines 
which may soon come to revolutionize that flat boyish silhouette - a substitute 
would undoubtedly be favorably accepted. 

Hats are small and untriramed, hence, the reason so many millinery shops 
had to close their doors. It is interesting to watch the various French 
and American designers trying, as it were, to launch new lines. 

Hhoes have also suffered a serious setback by the extremely limited 
new stock. 

Various high lights from ^aris are welcome, especially in the exclusive 
shops where the ,'merican designers use them cleverly to give their expensive 
frocks a certain appearance of novelty in the modes of 1930. The appeal 
must not be confined to the color, or fabric only, however. 

/ 4 3 

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forllic. riexvod ■ J.l j*sfli eslrroiiulovs-i 9000. hoce 


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Drastic Change of Silhouette - Silhouette of 1931 - 1932 - 1933 
Mrs, Roosevelt 1934 - Furs - Glamorous Styles - The New Color 
Stratosphere - Long Skirts - Natural 7, T aistline - The Zipper 


The complete change of fashion is decidedly startling and splashing; 
in feet, it is in a way, most astonishing. The new gowns, so well molded 
around the body, make one realize that women's figure is again the concern 
of the moment, and what a joy to see one's clothes stay in placel No more 

of those loose draperiesi But it does take awhile to get accustomed to 

occiaion. 1 "V*''^ Mmb •Ml trtssfflftd wiU> iSM :o4X*j j'py tfe& Ml 

this new silhouette, replacing the boyish effect of the flat chest, short 

skirt, and low girdles. In ?aris, they say that these styles have turned 

young again with all the vivid colors used so profusely. It is a relief 

to know that the exaggerated modes of the" passe T ' frocks have entirely 

disappeared, and that the new styles emphasize at least the more feminine 

and graceful lines. But to wear these new clothes successfully requires 

reflection snd even serious thinking; luckily, however, everyone seems to 

react happily to the absolute authority, "la mode." The latter does, 

in large measure, emphasize the beauty and charm of Madame 's or Mademoiselle 1 

figure, which is an important factor in the lives of so many people. This 

new style is really more dignified. 

om oP* Isoa. 



me . eiiJ 

arid n: 

In 1931, the main characteristics of the fashions are the raised natural 
waist-line with the skirt longer and not quite so full. Also to be selected 
simultaneously in this period of remarkable transition, is the short bolero, 
with long and short sleeves. The closed-in neckline is featured on a number 
of new models, although one still may observe occasional V-necks and round 
ones draped in soft folds. 

Current events and our mode of living contribute, in large measure, 
to influence various modifications in women's dresses. Many separate skirts 
are worn with blouses, some with long sleeves resembling men's shirts, 
a costume of great economy, comfortable and most satisfactory during this 
trying time of depression. Tailor-made suits of tweeds and heavy woolen 
materials are stylish and very much in favor for shopping and daytime wear. 

Contrast seems to be the keynote of fashion, and black, very dark brown, 
and blue top coats are worn with a white or light-colored frock for various 
occasions. These coats are long and trimmed with fur collars for the Fall. 
The furs used are fitch, sea.1, Persian lamb, opossum, gray squirrel, and 

The high light of the season is a dress that buttons all the way from 
the neck to the hem. A certain elegance is attained with the dozen or more 
buttons glittering in silver or jewels as the principal ornamentation. 

Colors range from black, brown, navy blue, to green, and a variety of 
reds, such as "tomato" and "lobster" which are popular, while the Chinese 
tones have inspired combinations never used on women's clothes before. 

There is a striking note of gorgeousness in the variety of materials, 
but silk is fast disappearing from a market that seems to be flooded with 
artificial textiles dyed and printed in beautiful and varied shades and designs. 

r.l anil: 

rijxvv 9IW 

Cotton, wool, and linen continue to be used but with certain restraint, 
inasmuch as rayon crepe is the popular fabric of 1931. 

Hats are very plain with practically no trimming. 

Shoes are black, tsn, gray, red, and blue; gold and silver for evening 
wear. There Is the new style of low shoe with cut out designs over the 
toes. The lizard skin is featured in footwear and has gained remarkable 

^ven the use of cosmetics joined the remarkable transition of styles 
in their complete transformation. Moderation is the last word and once more 
women appear more natural with less rouge and less lipstick. No more eye- 
brows plucked to the exaggerated line of the previous decade. /lso gone 
are the green and deep crimson fingernails in this year of 1931. The main 
object of women in general seems to be simply the keen and legitimate desire 
of appearing beautiful with Nature's gifts. However, cosmetics are still 
used, but just enough to enhance the charm and beauty of women. 



.Joel n. 



Economy appears to be in the limelight just at present, but stylish 
clothes are so low-priced that with the American women's proverbial ingenuity 
and good taste the fair sex can keep on looking up-to-date and well dressed, 
especially with our wonderful new fabrics, dyed in gorgeous tones which 
produce wonderful effects. Pure silk and 100* wool still remain on the 
market, however. 

Last year's clothes may be easily made over with the help of commercial 
patterns; one may also add that the 1933 artistic silhouette contributes 
greatly to glamorize Madame 1 s home creations. 

It is pleasing to realise that there are very few of those exaggerated 
and rich toilettes, even among those wealthy who have succeeded in saving from 
''the crash 1 ' their huge fortune of^the prosperity era. "omen appear charming 
and beautiful in simple clothes that replace the showy attire of a few years 
ago. The American feminine population has at last ceased to affect an air 
of complacency. A certain sameness of style may be obvious, but tne slim line 
is not monotonous. Varied arrangements of colors and odd trimmings are used 
even on plain everyday frocks; there is symmetry in the placing of buttons, 
binds, or even pin tucks which are stitched in design clusters - padded embroid- 
ery is new and chic. 

The number of stout girls has greatly diminished. Even the short woman 
appears taller and slimmer with the kind of clothes designed for all types of 
figure. New York couturiers have achieved great success in their practical 
and beautiful creations (partly copied from Parisian models). In spite of 
the low cost of living, and not only because of the depression, but primarily 
because everyone is more or less, conscious of keeping her "line", as it is 



t torc ^ofi ex 

called, and/ watching tue scales with much concern. Hollywood stars may 
possibly be influencing our young feminine population. Never in the history 
of fashion h&ve women appeared more graceful and better dressed even though 
clothes are cheaper than at any other time. 

We notice, with joy, the wave of kindness and generosity in wealthy 
women who so gladly give away their clothes to their less fortunate sisters, 
replacing their wc rdrobe as often as a new wrinkle appears on the latest frock. 

One feature of la mode remains astonishing and is deplored by our con- 
servative society. The year 1933' s latest innovation is the masculine attire 
recently worn by women who have daringly aopeared in trouser suits - even the 
collar and four-in-hand tie completing this new outfit which surpasses Mrs. 
Bloomer's of the n gay nineties." The question is whether it is just a 
passing notion or a permanent fashion to be accepted and followed by the 
majority of women. It may have been designed from a practical impulse, 
but it is said that the well known cinema actress, Marlene Dietrich, is respon- 
sible for this new masculine mode. Whatever may be the reason, fashion commen 
tators do not seem to take this fad too seriously. 


A glamorous array of new materials has appeared to amaze the fashion 
world and this year the high lights of la mode are brighter than they have 
ever been since the war; they suggest the grandeur of 1900 when luxury and 
extravagance marked the turn of the Century. The satins, the silks, the 
velvets, the moires, are extraordinary, and even the woolens have gold and 
silver threads woven into these modern fabrics. The velvets are often 
changeable in tone*. 

The sensation these textile exhibitions caused may be easily imagined 
when one realizes the depression which has obliged so many women to economize 
on their wardrobe. It seems as if we had formed the habit of a certain 
amount of simplicity in our dress. All this splendor shown at this time by 
the "°aris and New York couturiers is certainly astonishing. Their models 
are made with new stiff glistening materials, among which are lots of failles 
and taffetas. They certainly succeeded in creating surprises with their 
newly discovered and strange tissues never used before 1934. Acetate and 
rayon are the favorite materials especially among the manufactured dresses. 
One rejoices to find that these charming ready-made frocks are comparatively 
low priced, within the means of every woman's purse. 

There is also a certain amount of pure silk generally used for evening 
gowns; they are not soft but are glowing in the odd manner of their weave. 
As for stiffness and richness, no fabric can quite equal the lames, that have 
swept the market. Especially suitable for formal frocks, gold and silver 
are interwoven with the blues, the browns, and the black; they almost recall 
the splendor of the Renaissance period. Indeed the cut and styles of 1934 
are more or less influenced by the costumes of bygone days. Intriguing and 
forme 1,1a mode of 1934 achieves magnificent, as well as original effects. 


It is dramatic and very often classic in its graceful slim lines. Inspired 
from the 1880 fashions, the bustle and draperies, though fantastic and pictur- 
esque, are here, out considerably modified, especially the hoop. There is 
a new D rincess style dress that emphasises the slim silhouette worn at formal 
social events; it is favored by young and middle aged women, and the natural 
waistline is emphasized by the "plisse" or "bouffant" effect of the hip line. 
Also, we see the Greek silhouette which is beautiful in the shimmering satin 
of this Season. 

Skirts everywhere are long and full, narrow ones having disappeared 
entirely. For festive and formal occasions the gowns have a very long train, 
and the decolletage is much lower in the back than in the front. A new 
draped neckline is smart - it reminds one of the neckline of tue 13th Century, 
so different is it from the style worn during the past years. For daytime 
wear the one-piece dress has style, beauty, and elegance, while the suit made 
of many kinds of wool tweeds is especially favored with the lovely blouse 
of silk or satin. 

In the realm of color, black comes first, then beautiful shades of 
orange, reds and browns. The browns are rich tones based on "feuilles 
d'automne" (Autumn leaves), and vary considerably in color values though inclined 
to be rather dark. But the newest and most popular color is the lovely tone 
of violet blue called "stratosphere", decidedly unique in its various shades. 

The furs are mostly seal. Seal is elegant in its brown, black, and 
natural color. Astrakan and beaver, used lavishly for trimming the short 
jacket, rather loose in the back, suggest the popularity of fur trianing. 
All shoulders are padded. 



Capes are still very much in vogue, sometimes stiffened and flying 
off behind, though rather heavy. These are called parachute capes; 
a fantastic style, especially when they are padded as some of our couturiers 
have designed. 

Hats are both large and small - a small one called "Kussard" is plain, 
practically without trimming, made of felt, velvet, and woolen cloth to 
match the suit. 

Shoes are gold and silver for evening; for daytime formal there is a 
variety of kid, leopard, or alligator and lizard, and satin dyed to match 
the gown. Occasionally they are trimmed with different kinds of leather. 
They appear odd in their various shapes and designs. Oxfords continue to be 
worn, especially for sports wear, always with Cuban or low heels, inspired 
from Britain. 



This year*s styles (1938) are composed of astonishing contradictions. 
The diversity of lines on the gowns and suits designed by the great couturiers 
of Paris end New York, offer unlimited advantage to the majority of women 
anxious to appear at their best at all times of day and evening. The waist- 
line may be as one prefers, high or low. The skirts are wide or narrow, 
some are full in front and tied with a bow of ribbon passed through a casing 
holding the gathers of a pretty skirt called "Dirndl". The novelty of the 
belt is also to be noticed, occasionally made with cut-out designs of soft 
leather, it adds considerably to the chic of these graceful skirts. The 
sweater and the bolero are smart and very chic, especially for the college 
girl. A certain kind of front drapery on the new models reminds one of 
the year 1912 when skirts were narrow and opened at the hem to show the 
dainty feet of the wearer. 

Variety in the style of coats is featured by the many off-jackets 
this year, full and short, knee length, similar to the Chinese kimona which 
is seen everywhere. The top coat such as Queen Elizabeth wears is made 
of plaid tweed which is about the most popular material used for all kinds 
of cloaks. Many coats are very full in the back with the belt at the waist- 
line and with collars extending almost to the girdle, but the smart youthful 
reefer and D olo coats remain definitely the favorites among the college 
feminine group whose costume for the various sport outings is not complete 
without one of those charming creations with the ^aris touch. Another 
innovation worth mentioning is the patch pocket placed on the side of the skirt. 

Women's clothes are so easy to wear with the Zipper that has apparently 
replaced the old-fashioned hooks and eyes - (such a saving of timel) This 
comparatively new and useful fastener dates as far back as 1893 when it appeared 



among the mechanical inventions exhibited at the Columbian Exposition of 
1893 in Chicago. 'Vhitcomb L. Judson, the real inventor, unfortunately had 
to give up his venture, because no machine could be perfected to manufacture 
the zipper at a reasonable speed, and a great deal of money was squandered 
in numerous attempts to invent a satisfactory machine. Finally, it was put 
on the market in 1923, and the credit may go to the Swedish engineer, Gideon 
Sunback, for both - the perfect fastener and the machine to make it. Its 
general acceptance on women's clothes is only of recent date when Madame 
Schiaparelli, well known designer, conceived the idea of using the zipper on 
her models. French couturiers are most enthusiastic in their praise of such 
a marvelous invention. The reason for this enthusiasm about such a detail 
is legitimate, as the zipper is used everywhere and on almost everything. 

A marked influence of the Second Fmpire and also of the Marie-Antoinette 
psriod with their numerous bows and lace trimmings, is a feature of this year 
which is decidedly a lace era. Not only is lace used in profusion on all 
parts of a frock, but its motif is often cut out (appliqued) artistically in 
various ways on the bodice or on the skirt of the gown. The general style 
of the sleeves is also noticeably varied - they are full, plain, long, or 
short, and nearly always have a little pad at the shoulder. 

It is comparatively easy to be up-to-date at all functions now. Fven 
in the matter of colors, there are the severe effects of black and white, and 
the vivid hues of Spring flowery designs on white or black background. The 
"tailleur" (tailor-made suit), so much in vogue, is relieved by exquisite 
blouses of pastel shades; some are trimmed with lace, while others, more 
practical, are made of linen and surah silk in various tones. "LA MODF EST 
TJN TYR/N" (fashion is a tyrant), but it brings pleasure and deceives no one. 
For daytime dresses, the trend is of plaid, woven in complementary tones 
such as red and green, etc. Frocks have yokes, fastened in the back, buttoned 
or zipped. 


Exciting and surprising combinations of color offer flattering and 
charming effects, for example: a flame red velveteen or tilleul 7ellow skirt 
and a blouse of blue silk Jersey with an all over design of the same red. 
A decided complementary scheme of colors is a popular combination for 1938. 
Strong contrast is even combined with the three primary colors (red, blue, 
and yellow), forming triad motifs on white, gray, or black background. For 
evening, misty blue and frothy pink are fashionable. New and queer colors 
are fascinating, and, if artistically arranged, produce miraculous effects. 

Considering the wealth of choice offered one, it is interesting to note 
that there is a sameness of waist-line on French models, the Directoire line 
raising the bust very high, thus giving the figure an appearance of length 
and slenderness. This seems to be the latest innovation of our important 

It seems as though the "cloche" has entirely disappeared; the present 
mode of the chapeau being a draped chiffon turban, or, for festive occasions, 
a picture hat trimmed with ostrich plumes. 

Shoes are brown, blue and black; Oxfords and pumps with straps or a large 
leather bow.- The stockings are silk in many shades of beige, pottery-tan, 
and toast color. 

To the joy of many, it is rumored that in the near future dramatic fashion 
shows may be seen in Television, which is being perfected at present. It is 
to be hoped that we shall not be too long waiting for treats of that kind. 










1939 - The War in Europe - 1940 - 1941 - 1942 - 1943 - 1944 
The Frozen Silhouette - War Production Board - Fashion and Style 
During the War - No Importation of French Models - New York Leads 
in the Fashion World - Eleanor Roosevelt - Importance of Adjuncts 
and Details on Slothes - Americans in France - Blue, white, and Red - 
The Wide Skirts. 

The fashions that are transmitted here by radio from Paris emphasize a 
very straight silhouette, so straight that no derriers (deep curve) is prominent 
as it was at the previous years' fashion shows. It seems as if one had to 
practice a special manner of walking gracefully with that rather picturesque 
line. A certain stiffness would hardly be in harmony with the soft, beautiful 
and rich fabrics, and the lovely furs that give Madame' s 1939 attire a decided 
appearance of refinement. 

The princess and beltless gowns with the kick plait at the bottom, the 
high collar, the silk or satin petticoat, are noticeable features of this year's 
modes. The manipulation of our modem fabric is remarkably skillful on the 
1939 collectioi 8 * We have those exquisite rayons, lovely acetate, soft chiffon- 
like bembergs, and wrinkled velvets of artificial silk woven in such a way as « 
to give the charming effect of changeable bright hues. Odd combinations glorify 
the simple line of formal and casual clothes. Fascinating results are obtained 
with black combined with red or other bright hues for all occasions. 

ith the extraordinary advent of the two World Fairs (New York and San 
Francisco), la mode gives us charming effects inspired from various sources. 



There is a certain influence of the old Russian regime, a Cossack touch 
especially on jackets. Large flat fur revers adorn the tweed coats, and 
apparently no bushy variety of furs is quite as smart. 

The ravishing models, recently presented by the Parisian Salons de Couture 
and received here with enthusiasm, are partly copied with original details and 
artistically manufactured by our American designers who intend them to be within 
the means of practically every class of society. One may add, with pride, 
the t nowhere in the world do we find such glamorous creations in the sport^ 
fashions. " ! ith our wide range of cleverly woven mixtures of wool, or wool and 
rayon, these out-of-door garments are typically American. 

The popularity of the cocktail hour replacing the tea party, influences 
women's informal attire. It seems as if an extraordinary freedom of dress 
characterized the general trend at various social functions. This attitude 
may possibly be caused by the frequent attendance of American people at hotels 
and restaurants before or after the theatre. 

These are unstable worried days which are influencing the fashion world. 
Changes are rather few, especially radical ones. The neck line, the waist line 
and the skirt length, remain practically the same. However, the sleeves seem 
to be changing a little in the manner of their setting in the armhole. They 
are fuller at the top and stiffened a bit, rather short above the elbow for day 
and evening wear. Jacket sleeves are long and narrow at the wrist. 

Practically all dresses have hip line length jackets. 

There is a certain Spanish influence especially in the trimmings such as 
Metador braid and pompons. Padded embroidery features many formal frocks. 
A rich appearing fabric used for day and evening is satin crepe. 

THF WAR (1939) 



Black continues to be the first color, but stormy gray and vivid red 
are popular; some neutralized hues seem to remain in vogue, but the color 
harmony prevailing is decidedly a dominant scheme. Sometimes, as many as 
five and six tones can be observed in one outfit. An example of this would 
be a dark brown hat, a suit of brown and orange tweed, a blouse champagne 
color, beige hosiery, and tan shoes. Certain details give fashion a decided 
note of delicate beauty. 

Flowery materials such as silk, rayon, and bemberg are on }.ight and dark 
backgrounds, and even then flowers or figures are composed of dominant shades. 
Colored linen, chambray, sheer muslin, and gingham, were worn a great deal 
last Summer. Silk is beginning to disappear, and rayon, bemberg, and acetate 
are more popular, even in the most select shops. There is a new textile 
called du ^ont Payon Jersey, easy to drape in graceful folds on the bodice. 

Buttons and buckles keep their popularity, and pockets are often seen, 
even on afternoon gowns. Skirts are not too wide, rarely exceeding 70 or 72 
inches, and the length remains below the knee for daytime wear* Coats are 
long, close fitting, full at the bottom or in sports styles. For winter the 
furs are seal, "Persian lamb, Japanese mink, Canadian mink, dyed muskrat, dyed 
squirrel and, latest, Mouton, which has just appeared on the market. Fox 
for neck pieces with suits is a must, though a rather expensive one. Fe 
occasionally see a small muff in the form of a bag that serves two purposes. 

Hats are still worn down on the forehead almost covering the right eye. 
As for shoes, pumps of various colors, also in gold and silver, are still 
"a la mode" for dressy occasions. Oxfords are worn with suits for general 
informal affairs, end for shopping. 

The majority of American women are experimenting with new styles of 
coiffures, less curls and longer hair which are most becoming to the younger 


19 4 

Even though it is Winter, white is the most stylish color of this season. 
There is no drastic change in the general style, nothing comes from a aris, 
the gay old city of style, of art, and of pleasure. The war in T? uror)e has 
deprived us of fashion, but this great abundance of white flannel, white cotton, 
white lace - all this white and so few vivid colors, in a way seems symbolic - 
a kind of half mourning, one could say, expressed by Americans who are generally 
so sympathetic to France. 

In New Vork, American designers are working hard to launch original, elegant 
new fashions. The skirts are short; in fact, very short, sometimes showing 
the knee. One may occasionally observe a riot of colors against black for 

sports wear, and for evening a white or a lame waist with a long full black 
velvet skirt; for formal and dinner, blouses are richly embroidered. The coats 
remain practically the same as in 1939, even in 1938 for that matter. Once in a 

while a. novel idea may astonish the feminine world,- for instance, a white 
quilted ^etrushka coat bound in green felt and lined with red flannel. This 
odd coat may be worn over a one-piece ski suit of gray or black gabardine. 
Sweaters and skirts, often plaited, are worn after the ski jaunt. Skirts are 
sometimes ankle length, slit in front to show the leg. These "Fireside" 
skirts are made of flannel, plaid or plain colors, red, white, and blue - this 
last combination in a way might be a symbol of our strong and peaceful country. 
'■e still have the delightful Dirndl skirt, casual and formal. This important 
part of Madeline's or rather Mademoiselle's (it is so youthful) costume is entirely 
American. It is of various materials which are easily gathered, and rather 
soft, falling in flattering full effect, very short, as much as seventeen to 
eighteen inches from the ground. 

There is the ^inafore dress, sleeveless even for every day wear. For 
evening cotton dresses are worn, for dinner wide trousered pajamas ( jupe-culotte ) 


:ev t S 

.1 io 

made of floral prints brilliant in their many colors, are very much "a la mode". 
A noticeable feature of the Simmer of 1940 will be the shawl worn instead of 
the usual evening coat. One may observe in the early fashion shows the parasol 
which is here again to match the dainty cotton dress. 

Eccentricities in outfits often reveal themselves in jewels or sequins 
used for trimmings on the collar of a loose sealskin coat, then there is the 
smart thin fur of American broadtail made into a coat with a pleated skirt all 
around. Short coats of sable emphasize the luxury that characterizes this 
year's American styles. Strange to say, a turban or a wool cap often knitted 
with long trailing ends that tie or tangle around Madame or Mademoiselle's throat, 
are worn with those coats. Then again, cotton stockings and gloves of vivid 
colors are worn with the fur coat. Leopard, Persian lamb, and black fox, are 
the furs of 1940., What has happened lately in the line of fur trimming is the 
cravat, the jabot, and the beg. Fur is seen everywhere on almost every part 
of Madame 's attire, such as a belt or peplum. The fur hat holds its own, as 
also does the small muff. 

With the war on in Europe and no importations, no one can really predict 
what the future has in store for women's attire. No one seems to say much 
in forecasting new fashions and we are anxious to see what our couturiers 
will launch at their independent openings of 1941. A few models displayed at early 
fashion shows have revealed astonishing novelties such as tailored or casual 
dresses made of lame, handknit dresses and corduroy in quantity. The future 
styles, it appears, may be designed in the United States, as New York may possibly 
become the mecca of the fashion world and replace Paris. There are a great 
many beautiful details on gown trimmings - embroidery, buckles and buttons, 
original and smart in the way they are placed on the dresses; they contribute 



so much in giving a 1940 frock a note of distinction and novelty in spite of 
the sameness of the general silhouette and cut of the gown. With an unlimited 
variety of gorgeous fabrics, dyed in the newest color, the American couturiers 
follow certain influences, among which is the recent Persian art exhibition in 
New York. Materials are celanese and rayon jersey, chambray, and some silk 
tissues, also the cool bemberg sheer. 

In the realm of color harmony, South American influence still reveals 
itself. For instance, an acid green shawl decorated with bright pink roses, 
n?ill be worn with a water-melon pink wool frock, and a cap trimmed with gold 
and green paillettes (spangles). Colors, such as poison green, sea green, 
lacquer red and turquoise, predominate. The names of those tones are reminis- 
cent of 1830 - romantic period in France. We now have Sleeping blue, Argentine 
blue, Shocking pink, Tropical pink, etc. 

Hats are quite often made or trimmed with fur, or again crocheted in dark 
cherry or other colored wool or white cashmere for sports wear. Enormous brims 
are to be a la mode for the Spring. 

Shoes with low heels are still a popular feature for the winter. There 
is the novelty of the open toe shoe made of soft material and of various colors. 
A favorite footwear is the well fitted small black doeskin low shoe. A moder- 
ately low heel for walking is characteristic of the casual outfit. 




The formal classic soft peach color satin gown Mrs. Franklin D. 
Roosevelt were at the Inaugural Ball of 1940 (the President's third ter«), 
is a stylish and very haadsome costuno. 

Cut on the bias, the full cireular skirt is extremely wide and 

finished with a train. It is a typically 1940 fashienable gown, with 

a pointed bodice, beltless, fitted closely to the figure, A Moderately 
low decolletage is in the form of a sweetheart shape (new at that time), 
finished with a beautiful ^earl garniture. The short sleeves are slightly 
gathered at the arsseye. 

This First Lady of the Land followed the sane note of patriotism 

that ethers before her had ex- 
pressed, by having American design- 
ers and couturiers plan the numer- 
ous gowns for the various activ- 
ities of that remarkable period. 
Sh« chose the National colors of 
her beloved country, a white 
formal dress, two blue ones, a red 
one which was later called Lleanor 
red. All of her froeks were art- 
istically fashioned and of the latest 
style. Eleanor red re scab led a rich 
lacquer tone which was worn a great 
deal during 1940, although the 1940 
color was white even for Winter. 
It is to be remembered that no 
vivid hues marked that memorable 
year as in 1939, except, of course, 

x-ed, white and blue. 



i JTi>« t. J - oil 


v. I -' 

ulcf r • ti 


The styles are similar to those of 1941 and 194?,, without drastic change 
of silhouette (frozen by the War Production Board). A wonderful array of 
new colors and new designs on the various rayon and cotton prints, however, 
create an illusion of novelty in the 194 3 modes. 

On the grounds that material must be kept for the war effort, this 
freezing of the feminine silhouette is actually saving the situation for the 
American designers who cannot depend on Paris for new ideas, radical changes 
and new lines. This extraordinary dictate from Washington is obeyed with 
docility by the women of the United States as a manifestation of patriotism. 

ith this national regulation of l^J^o^e, clever fashion tricks play 
an important part in the designing of the year's frocks. For example: 
the kick plait gives the skirts an appearance of width, while the silhouette 
remains the decided cigarette type; the beauty of the new gowns is enhanced 
by the variety of its details and combination of tones. 

There is very little one can say in the matter of styles, only that 
the new fabrics replacing silk are quite satisfactory; latest among these 
being kasha, also, that the new tones inspired by present world conditions 
are the chief concern of New York designers. There is a deep rich brown 
shade resembling tobacco favored for suits and daytime dresses; green is 
more for sports clothes. Formal attire is not de rigueur because women 
going out with men in uniform use more freedom in the choice of their dress 
for evening; therefore, gowns worn at social functions are short, very long, 
or mid-calf. As a whole, clothes for the courageous American women can be 
extremely charming and decorative despite the many restrictions imposed by 
the present external circumstances. Artistically cut and well fitted 




tailor-made suits (clothes are made to please the men) retaining their 

elegance are especially significant of this particular time. ^orn at 

practically all social functions, very sensible and chic, a suit-dress is 

presented in classic lines, elaborately adorned with buckles, buttons of 

silver or gold inspired from the military costume of war years. Quality 

in fabric is the last word in women's attire. A noticeably slight droop 

of the shoulders is about the most conspicuous change in the new jackets. 

Lighter to wear and easy to slip on, these new jackets delight women. 

Gorgeous blouses of pastel shades made of shantung are smart, worn with 

a tweed or gabardine skirt. 

Stunning hats of various shapes are made of every kind of material 

from cotton, hemp, to a straw made of cellophane, and «v«* fre« raffia. 

Tailored or fancy, with or without a veil, the chapeau is worn even after 


five o'clock. At certain /functions after this hour, it seems to be 
de rigueur. 

Shoes with high heels are not common, because of the essential need 
for women to be comfortable in their numerous war time activities. Hence, 
the reason also that slacks are in the limelight at all times of the day. 

Gloves, which are mostly fabric, are white or of the color of the 

END OF WAR 1945 

e find that fashion has not yet changed dramatically. The War Produc- 
tion Board is still holding to its unusual decree (the freezing of the 
feminine silhouette). That decision has kept the skirt short and not too 
wide - of course, tne most important factor of the 7«ar period was the saving 
of material. But now a change would be welcome. 

So far, however, American women manage to dress very well in spite 
of the same main lines as those of an up-to-date costume in 1944. While 
w&iting patiently for a different silhouette, American designers have achieved 
wonderful results. A certain diversity of details, a considerable variety 
of new tones and textiles contribute largely to create appearances of novelty 
on the gowns of Fall and Winter 1945. 

We are asking ourselves, will Peris regain her place in the fashion 
world, or will New York lead? This is the question, but it is rumored that 
the French couturiers are extremely busy, working hard to regain their place 
by creating entirely new designs, a radical change which would probably 
revolutionize the entire fashion industry. Let us wait and see what the end 
of 1945 and the beginning of 1946 will bring in La Mode. 

New York designers have launched fascinating and ravishing modes for Fall 
and '.'inter in their recent openings. Their collection of dresses, coats, 
furs, shoes, end hats, were outstanding in a large variety of textiles, colors 
and trimmings. 

The diagonal or one-sided effect on all styles of frocks is chic and 
elegant, and so is the lovely peplum on the slim softly moulded skirt. Well 
manipulated folds in cascade on the skirt offer an appealing variety of accent 
on almost any kind of dress, formal or casual. There is limitless diversity 
of trimmings such as psilletes, beads, glittering jewels, exquisite in their 

odd shapes of birds, stars, etc. These gleaming motifs on the gown (placed 
on one side only) have a rather unique distinction, especially at this time. 
The star is a symbol of our great and powerful country. It is so pleasing 
to recall the French saying of 1917 when we joined the war: "The sky looked 
dark, but the stars appeared to brighten the atmosphere." And then, stars 
and stars were embroidered on their models, as it is today; symbols of that 
kind on dark or black formal crepe gowns give Madame' s appearance a note of 
originality. Emphasis on the small waist and broad shoulders still per- 
sists, while the length of the skirt may be slightly longer - not enough, 
however, to call it a remarkable change. 

The decolletage for formal gowns is deep, square or round. For day- 
time, it remains much the ssme as last year - V-neckline, occasionally round, 
or sweetheart shape; high, close to the throat line, with a slit in front, 
it has style and distinction. White collars are still fashionable; neat and 
practical, they are made of various materials. A great deal of black is 
worn for both casual and formal wear. 

The dress sleeve is bracelet length, while what is called the barrel 
sleeve is quite often observed here and there. There is very little change, 
however, in the cut of tne sleeves, elegantly styled they are often loose 
under the arm. 

In the realm of textiles, wool, thin and heavy is featured. It seems* 
as if one could find, easily enough, all kinds of beautiful wool fabrics. 
Simple cocktail or plain afternoon dresses are made of jersey, relieved by a 
wide fancy belt, of scarlet or of Chinese red heavy silk, adorned with sparkling 
metal beads or gold buckle. These frocks are chic, warm and practical. The 
unusual and gorgeous belts are reminiscent of the 14th Century wide jeweled 



The long range of lovely colors adding an accent of beauty to the new 
modes, are royal magenta, nut brown, claret, purple, and sapphire blue. 
These fascinating tones are used profusely by our stylish couturiers end 
manufacturers. In the matter of fabrics, we have rayon crepe, some bemberg 
for evening wear, fleece, jersey, and again jersey, which seems to remain 
popular for all occasions. 

Furs are exquisite and breath-taking in their numerous variety: Nutria 
platinum muskrat, Alaska seal, and platinum mink. There are even very chic 
coats of dyed champagne ermine adorned with Chinese red; they are not full 
length but are collarless and with huge bouffant sleeves. The belt on the 
fur coats are of a lighter or darker shade of the same fur, and seldom of 
the same color. Small fur hats (worn with a decided front tilt) to match 
the costs are featured to complete Madame f s or Mademoiselle's costume. 

The sports wear coats of heavy rough tweed are useful and chic; these 
are belted and beautifully lined. 

Interesting and practical, the shoes are extremely comfortable. For 
formal or dressy occasions, suede is the first material to be used. The 
perforated shoe is here again, and the lower heel keeps its popularity. 
Oxfords, with low heels remain the favorite footwear for business and casual 
social functions. 

Fascinating small bags made of leather match the casual daytime frock. 
Often adorned with a monogram, initialed, or a personal emblem, they were 
designed and inspired from the Second Empire ''pouch" of Empress Eugenie. 

After a close analysis of the Fall and Winter modes, we conclude that 
the magnificent showing of New York, 1945, Fall and Winter modes are richer, 








The ^ost ,r 'ar Years - 1946 - 1947 - New Look - 1948 - Mrs. Truman - 1949. 
Radical Changes in Fashion - New Colors - Fabrics and their Importance . 

19 4 6 

There are already new modes from Paris, but at present New York still 
leads in the fashion world with a wide range of new lines. Skirts are 
fuller and slightly longer, some are draped gracefully on one side and there are 
godets, but not the large ones of 1893, 

Skirts show a marked variety of ampleur (fullness), some being pleated 
and others gathered. Circular skirts are trying their best to re-appear. 
French couturiers are sending models with extremely wide skirts. '.'torn with 
these, the sweater knitted in fancy stitches, is very much a la mode , es- 
pecially among the younger group. Bodices have darts, and sleeves are short, 
long, ruffled, or pushed up. We note several artistic necklines, among 
which are the V, the bateau, and the cowl. This latter seems to eclipse the V 
and even the TJ that has such a distinctive quality. The long, buttoned front 
Opening on casual frocks keeps its popularity, and the silhouette is accentuated 
by Dirndl , princess, or barrel hip skirts - even the bustle. 

The beauty of 1946 fashions is emphasized by the graceful and perfect 
harmony of the four main points (neckline, waistline, skirt and sleeve) on 
the new frocks which contribute in giving the silhouette an original and an 
outstanding quality of style not observed for years. 




Fabrics, trimmings, colors, are exciting and beautiful. The range in 
color is almost limitless and includes lovely shades of lilac, lavender, 
aquamarine, peacock blue, sky blue, seagull gray, honey, beige, butter yellow, 
sun yellow, saffron yellow, and even canary. There are also cyclamen and 
tangerine, but the three new young tones are persimmon, grass green and 
clessical gray. Also to be noticed among the new styles is a wide choice 
of stripes and lovely plaids. Black has not disappeared entirely but it 
has lost most of its war-year popularity. There are new and original color 
arrangements, including the adoption of the national triad of red-white-and 
blue, and complementary color schemes are featured on many of the new gowns. 

We are pleased to see again large and small collars of white lace; 
they are smart and a decided deviation from previous years. But one of the 
gayest and most charming fashions is that of the wide fancy belt made of felt, 
artistically cut and trimmed with buttons or laced with ribbon, imitating the 
girdle of the European peasant costume. 

Varied in their gorge ousness, we now 
have gabardines, corduroys, taffetas, soft 
rayon crepes and jerseys, satins, linens, 
cottons, end the exquisite chiffon-like ' 
bemberg. Then, the wool jerseys and the 
tweeds are outstanding in their color com- 
bination. The soft new materials are so 
beautifully dyed (fast colors easy to launder) 
and planned with such unusual artistic sense 
that one does not miss the pure silk, somehow. 
Their designs are polka dots, large and small, 
flowers and leaves, stripes, conventionalized 
fruits and plants of all sorts, even animals and country scenes in pleasing 
arrangements of tones in definite and odd motifs on light and dark backgrounds. 


New fabrics made of plastic and dyed in bright colors are used mostly for 
raincoats. These garments are quite original and cheerful — so different 
from the raincoats of the past when black and gray exclusively were the 
stormy day colors. 

The many post-war cloak styles heve odd names, such as coachman's coat, 
shepherd's coat, redingote, and the cape coat. The yoke collar is especially 
featured on these full and stylish garments. For the casual coat of Madame 
end Mademoiselle black still seems quite a la mode, while the slim fitted 
jecket and the bolero are smart and coat dresses are quite the m us+ of the 
season. These are especially practical for traveling. 


Hats are turbans gracefully draped and made of soft materials, such as 
net, chiffon, and jersey in pale tones. Peaked high on Madame' s heed, they 
are clasped with a brilliant or bright jeweled ornament. Some designers 
from Paris and New York, however, trim their charming turbans with a large bow 
of a contrasting shade of ribbon with streamers or folds falling down the back. 
The French tailored beret is captivating, worn far back on the head, and so, 
also, is the pill-box chapeau. Occasionally we observe, but not too often, 
the lsrge felt hat, so becoming to oval-shaped faces. 

Shoes are fascinating in their novel modes. Suede is the most popular 
leather. Heels are not much higher, but they are smaller for evening wear, 
although a certain freedom about footwear style is to be noticed, such as 
sandals and practically no heels for daytime wear. As we have said, shoes 
for all occasions show a large variety of style, but the open toe, the open 
heel, and the strap and fancy designs noticeably prevail. 

Furs lend their eloquence to the winter outfit. Made in a style that 
leaves nothing to be desired, the blended muskrat, the mink, the very supple 
beaver, are all featured in simple casual lines, shorter than in past seasons 
and full, with large sleeves and practically no collar. Some, on the other 
htnd, have hoods. 


1947 -"THE NT?". 7 LOOK" 

This year marks the disappearance of the refined but monotonous dignity 
of the war years. An obvious expression of gaiety and lavishness appears 
on women's clothes. Although fashion changes (especially radical, entirely 
new lines) generally take a certain length of time to be really accepted and 
worn by the majority of our American population, what we call the "New Look" 
has been adopted without the usual delay. 

The main feature of this striking style deviation is the wide and longer 
skirt. Christian Dior, Parisian designer, certainly revolutionized the trend 
of la mode . His latest creation which covers the legs, pinching the waist, 
and changing the entire silhouette, has produced a sensation characterized by 
rather joyful enthusiasm. 

Fresh and original new lines me.y be observed in practically all models 
in New York style shows. The neck is high for daytime wear, also very low 
and called the "plunging neckline 5 '. Sleeves are short, often raglan style, 
with much less padding; the waist is small and slightly raised in a sort of 
Renaissance fashion, beautifully emphasizing the bust curves. 

Fven the colors are more gay and especially significant of that hanpin- 
ess resulting from the termination of the depressing war years. Black, gray, 
violet, are almost disappearing from Madame' s wardrobe; the blues, the lovely 
browns, and the reds being worn by women of all ages. These bright hues are 
favored for the whole or part of costumes, for day and evening social activitie 
and even for business. For casual occasions, we find gorgeous and long ranges 
of vivid tones, especially flattering to the younger group. Many smart de- 
tails are added to everyday frocks, buttons remaining the great favorite. 

Embroidery and stenciling on plain materials, such as linen, cotton or 
rt yon crepe, give e note of originality on a casual or formal frock. Shiny 
silver or brilliant embroidery design units are also featured on white satin 
and chiffon, especially for evening wear. 

Cashmere, tweeds, the rayons, and bembergs continue to be most popular, 
though not entirely new; a certain diversity in tJie weave gives these materials 
a marked note of distinction. Of course, cotton, gingham, and linen held, 
their own in popularity this past Summer and for warmer climates. ^yed in 
gorgeous hues and designed in a large variety of motifs, these thin textiles 
seem to replace silk, which is trying its best to reappear. It is to be 
noted that silk has ceased to be the number one tissue; even for very dressy 
occasions bemberg and rayon are used extensively. 

From "aris fashion shows comes this bit of important news: It is the 
fascinating story of the tailleur (tailor-made suit) that seems to be in the 
foreground for both practical and dressy afternoon social affairs. Worn with 
charming blouses in pastel shades, the tailleur becomes appropriate for almost 
every occasion. Some jackets are long, others are shorter than last year's 
model, but all of them have the "New Look". We still have the chic dress- 
maker suit. 

There are really three silhouettes for Madame to choose from, but they 
oil decidedly emphasize the extraordinary "New Look" of 1947. A smart one 
of these shows a smaller shoulder and an extremely wide skirt. The swing is 
the main characteristic of what one likes to speak of as the "triangle silhouette." 
Some jackets are artistically trimmed with piping or braid, and even with ha.nd 
stitching. But there is a style of loose coats on the more ma.sculine suits 
which also have a vest of some contrasting material. 

The length of the skirt is more or less determined by the kind of dress, 
formal or casual. For daytime wear, fourteen inches from the ground for the 
average tall woman. There are extra skirts of various styles and shapes, 
the circular skirt often being featured with a bodice of different fabric. 

The two-piece frocks which had practically been put aside, appear again 
with entirely new lines. Beautifully trimmed, (sometimes on one side only) 
some are still buttoned in front. Several of our pretty afternoon dresses 
remind one of the 1930 modes. Flounces adorn an evening gown of ankle length, 
a length which seems to be the most popular, even for formal gowns. 

With fullness on the sides and raglan sleeves, a popular style of coat 
differs considerably from that of the past years. Of various lengths, short 
and long, even three quarters, these coats are a must for all occasions. 
The majority have lovely pockets,. The fur coats are short. 

With this post war era, changes occur on every part of the feminine attire. 
We notice the small and large chapeau - a "casserole" shape on the short hair 
coiffure; then again, tne larger more bulky hat on the different yet stylish 
htirdo. The veil seems to keep its place as a most alluring addition. "/hat- 
ever Madame' s hat may be, it is to harmonize gracefully with the current silhouette. 

Accessories, in the line of costume jewelry are, a necklace with pendant, 
pearl necklace with bowknot, earrings white and black, or in gold and pearls, 
and diamonds mixed with pearls. Small fur neckpieces of mink or sable are new 
and stylish. 

gloves are other indications of the "change." 

Shoes are worn with lower heels for daytime, extremely fancy ones for 

formal wear; there are satin backless sandals, or white satin embroidered evening 
shoes, also colored shoes in contrast or of a shade lighter than the dress. 
Satin or glossy silk pumps, having a pointed toe, are worn with the ankle length 
dress, so practical yet beautiful in the "Mew Look" style. 

Once again "°aris dictates and New York designs gorgeous outfits with the 
freedom of the pre-war years, especially where colors and details are concerned. 


Miniature handbags (without a handle) of leather 7 corded silk, and long 




The unfolding of fashion this Winter is not as drastic as it was when 
the "New Look" made its memorable appearance. Many ladies' reluctance to 
accept this very radical "New Look", however, is wearing out, and everyone 
is now talking of tne long and full skirt. 

'Then the new mode means an entire replacement of one's wardrobe, the 
question of being up-to-date and chic becomes a very serious matter for 
women in the ordinary walk of life. That lovely billowy and longer skirt 
certainly takes more material, and last year's gowns cannot very well be 
remodelled. Fortunately for American women, New York designers immediately 
foresaw this dilemma, and, using their ingenuity and genius, created beautiful 
and stylish clothes, partly copied and partly original, priced within the 
means of every woman. The market is actually flooded with up-to-date and 
chic women's apparel. Of course, there are certain changes, such as a slight 
raise at the waistline, sort of Directoire effect. There is also the notice- 
able change in the length of skirts, some being even as much as twelve inches 
from the ground. 

The bracelet length sleeve, though far from new, is generally adopted for 
cocktail or even for dinner gowns. Less padding on the shoulders of the coats 
and many collarless jackets are observed in the various up-to-date collections. 

There is difficulty to analyze 1948 modes, partly because of the diversity 
of influences responsible for designing such fascinating and beautiful fashions. 
English women, it is interesting to note, are the last to adopt these new 
styles, so that their suit skirts are still narrow, but longer. Perhaps the 
fact that British ladies are forced to economize more than we, accounts for 
their conservatism in dress. 


Besides, the theatre plays in New York are instrumental as an important 
source of inspiration for our designers, there are interesting Oodey touches 
that furnish added alluring effects on the general appearance of the new models 

Furs are gorgeous and varied, with mink predominating in beauty, especial 
ly for coats, while beaver appears as a good second. The more common ones, 
such as Mouton, mink dyed muskrat, and Persian lamb, remain among favorites. 

These original American touches are greatly appreciated, as they relieve 
a person of the obligations of wearing the long and very wide skirt at all 
functions. The modified styles are especially for the tailor-made suit or 
practical walking costume. The plunging neckline is featured for all 
occasions, while the sweetheart shape and the high neckline remain favorites, 
especially for the younger group. Large hip pouches are one of these 
attractive innovations. They serve as pockets which are popular on gowns 
and jackets. 

In the millinery line, there is actually very little novelty, but hats 
are small and close to the head. They are the beret, toque or turban, so 
smart over the short hair coiffure. Hats are worn more than they used to be. 

For the South and even for the North, colors are pale, among which is 
the melting snow blue. White seems a favorite for bathing suits, a vanilla 
or Fmpire white rayon satin relieved by vivid colored trimming, is in vogue. 

There is a delicate lingerie look on certain -ummer fabrics, organdie 
and stiff rayon chiffon are among those charming Summer materials. Serge 
of new pattern has appeared to astonish the chic women, always in search of 
new tissues. 

As for shoes, sandals are showing more variety in design and are being 
worn a great deal, especially at the resorts. 

BESS WALLACE TRUMAN ( 1945 - 1952 ) 

Mrs. Harry S. Truman, a charming and graceful Mistress of the White 
House, dressed fashionably, though not extravagantly as the year 1948 
was inclined to be after such a long period of plairo feninine .at.tir* duri 
the- war. 

Rather good looking, Mrs, Truman's coiffure was most becoming, com- 
posed of curls, a few almost covering her ears. 

Like several of our First Ladies, Mrs. Truman encouraged American 
designers, though following the French modes of Dior, Fath, etc., as the 
majority of American women do. 

The trousseau she ordered for her husband's inauguration as the 
thirty-third President of the United States (1948) was entirely planned 
and fashioned by American couturiers, Of colorful and exquisite fabrics, 
her dresses may be rightly classed as some of the most stylish and beau- 
tiful ever worn by former Presidents' wives. 

Most striking cf all her gowns waB the formal one she wore at the 
Inauguration Ball of that memorable event. It is to be hoped that it 
will eventually be placed in the National Museum as a part of the 
famous collection of gowns having belonged to the many Mistresses of 
the White House. 

The drese exemplifies the full skirt period, and the material, a 
pearl gray satin brocade which is woven in a silver feather design. 
Although made in the United States, Ducharme of Paris actually designed 
this original pattern. Simplicity of lines was the keynote of that 
princess style formal attire. The bodice, rather close-fitting has 

I i 

s. J J 




a moderately low decolletage, V neck in shape and finished with 
feathers cut out from the material. The sleeves have the "push- 
up" effect "a la mode", brace- 
let length. They are neatly 
set in with the padded shoulder 
line of this peried (1948). 
Long grey suede gloves come up 
to the end of the sleeves, below 
the elbow. 

A hat to match this costume was 
fashioned of mauve color flattened 
ostrich feathers, and adorned with 
small curled plumes, varying in 
tones from mauve to gray. 




. . i 





There are certain things about fashion at present that seem hard to 
accept, such as the new stylish color, banker's grey, so dull, especially 
smart for flannel suits. It seems a relief to see other gayer tones, such' 
as moss green, bright orange, and for evening the latest hue, champagne. 
Inspite of the fact that black remains the first color, Madame glamorizes 
her wardrobe with the variety of tones used at the Fall showings of new models. 

So much similarity in the modes.' Still the slim silhouette! 
There are no striking effects, no real demand for a complete renewal of Milady's 
1948 clothes. An artistic note is noticeable on the fabrics, however, which 
are lovely, though the cut and lines may not be entirely different from last 
year's. Many of their designs also are new, attractive, and odd. We now see 
leafy-flowered prints on plain background, the conventionalized design having 
lost its popularity. These beautiful motifs are on silks, rayon, even on 
velvet, which is used again, a velvet that does not wrinkle and is of rayon 
texture. How pretty were the printed piques, the polka dot cottons (though 
not new), colored organdie, calico, and candy cotton, so much in vogue this 
Summer] The hand painted designs were really beautiful. 

We are fortunate in having such a choice of new designs and new weaves 
on our materials - they do give a special chic to our 1949 clothes. 

For Fall, the unfinished worsted tweed ensemble is a must for travelling, 
which has already reached a surprising peak. The sweater, cardigan, or slip-on 
sweater in lovely pastel shades, Canterbury blue, lime, and pink, form an essential 
part of a young girl's wardrobe. Skirts are of wool checks, or occasionally white 
and luggage tan colors. 

Underwear is now made of nylon, so convenient for travel J It is 
rumored that dresses made of this marvelous tissue may possibly appear 
before long. 

• Let us resign ourselves to wearing our 1948 and 1949 clothes. We 

have the happy perspective of 1950 when the celebration of half a century 
will bring about entirely new modes which will, no doubt, revolutionize 
again la mode, as in 1947. 




% f 



Tht Mid-Century Year 1950 - The Ameriean Leek - New 
Fabrics - Mrs. Eisenhower - Queen Elizabeth II of 
England - Guitar Silhouette, H Silhouette 

1950 - 1955 

This important calendar year (1950) is still one ef the great 
expectations in the line ef new rodee, A radical change was the hope 
ef women whese chief cencern is style and pretty fashions,, 

Theugh this year marks an epech in our American histery in various 
fields ef endeavor, such as scientific and chemical accomplishment s, fashion 
changes are not as drastic as they were, for example in 1931 and in 1947 
(the New Look), 

The main characteristic of this new era seems to emphasize what 
fashion experts like to call the "American Look". Elaborate style shows 
have definitely presented medels of all description^. However, as far as 
new lines are concerned, accents of la _ mode see* to be on the bodice. 
The neckline, though not exactly plunging, is often in the V shape variety* 
while the high white collar encircling the throat remains in the limelight. 

A 1950 silhouette follows the soft classical lines of an enchanting 

musical instrument which is the GUITAR. The Guitar look, very feminine, 

may be analyzed as follows: round shoulder line, the material curving 

its way down forreing a round bust to a very small waistline. Then either 

plaits or fullness have suggested this unique surname. 

The smart and chic tailleur, though varied with ingenious ideas, has 


I •' i Je ax 

I i 


I* *!o elsi 

appeared in the most select shops, styled in single and double breasted. 
Many of these tailor-made or dressmaker suits have very little padding 
on the shoulders and some do not have any, but couturiers differ in their 
opinion of shoulder padding. In the couture group, some designers say 
that shoulder padding is essential to emphasize the snug (small) waist 
line. As a whole the styles are beautiful and the details of la mode 
extremely varied - glamour is the key-note of the mid-century year, and 
wh*t many like to call, the "Crisp Look" is favored. 

There is still the basic dress, plain but adorned a bit for after- 
noon ensembles ,th» jacket dress redingote, or the bolero outfits. Mixture of 
materials is fascinating for a formal attire, even taffeta and linen are 
occasionally observed on the one gown, put together in clever fashion tricks. 
Navy and white checks are the last word in light wool or cashmere. 

The stole is a must, matching an ensemble or made of fur. A separate 
cape collar or a tiny dolman just covering the shoulders, is a smart fashion. 
Textiles are still subtle and easy to manipulate in graceful folds. 
There will be cotton and more cotton for Southern climates and the summer 
at the seashores. Cotton and linens are now woaren in dark tones vary- 
ing in navy blues, black, bottle green or plum color. The dressy 
voile and organdies, and what we like so much, candy cotton, give a 
feminine look to the dainty Mademoiselle with a colored velveteen coat 
of gay bright hues - short for summer. 

There is again, reminiscent of the early twentieth century, a charm- 
ing style of shirtwaist dress; it really forms every girl*s wardrobe. 
The majority of these dainty frocks are fashioned in watercolor hues. 

In the line of fabrics, nylon keeps its popularity in a marked 


*> X 4. .« 4. 

diversity of pattern and new .hadss. G.lan.e. an. aetata are 
greatly used for their adaptability to fin* tai Win*. That* two fin. 

new tissues are appearing all the tin., ana a new nan.* loosed anl* \IXMW 
tweed) is called "poodle clot h". There U also an nv*Aa*clt«uf ribbons an. 
bowl wlfidT TP* orten rne sain acceni ui a 

classic gown. ^ ^ 

The notife and designs on prints are entirely different fro» ***** *f 

1949; flowers are wore or less nisty, they seen to welt in the plain Sir* <*( 

liaktt background, but the color arrangements are decidedly new a»4 ►■.•»*♦ ifM » 

swall figures %re owphisi zed. Exhilarating tones, sucn as so n* v » 

coral, baby blue, emerald green, bright royal blue, Oxford grey, brai»« \ 

beige c-\U*d wet sand, and even the rabbin's egg blue, are tht» 1WQ W W" 

stylish tones. 

Where colors are concerned, how.ver, this ■id-century year is t. be a 
red, whit., and blue, Spring. A trial of this eort nay po.sibiw be « wj*M 
movement of patriotic perhaps a suggestion of th. great desire for 
that we American women always have in our heart a, and that we nil ao stroll. 

^"oticeably on evening frock, is n Urge red poppy on the bodisw. W 

and brilliant hues for lining of coat. ar. favored. ^ ^ 

in the millinery line, Madame'. ha. breath-taking nam.., I- 
spired fro. breakfa* €•*« (torn fUk... Hi" Kri.pies) - breakfast straw 
hats, P.nny Sailor, but th. Bustle bask hat is a «*» *- for the 
soft and charming hat with the wide bri., «d. of organdy, lacquered felt, 
.ilk shantung horsehair, etc. They are worn straight on x». n.U. 

Highly styled shoe, are good looking though flat heeled and they ar. 
d.cidedly wade for comfort. 


diversity of pattern and new shades. 

Celanese and acetate are still 

greatly used for their adaptability to fine tailoring. 

These two fine 

cloths also prove so satisfactory in laundering. 

However, new weaves and 

new tissues are appearing all the tine, and a new hand-loomed knit (like 
tweed) is called "poodle cloth". There is also an avalancheof ribbons and 
bows which are often the main accent of a formal, or what one calls now a 
classic gown. 

The motifs and designs on prints are entirely different from those of 
1949; flowers a^e more or less misty, they seem to melt in the plain dark or 
li\ht background, but the color arrangements are decidedly new and beautiful , 
small figures are emphasized. Exhilarating tones, such as soft true pink, 
coral, baby blue, emerald green, bright royal blue, Oxford grey, brown, cool 
beige called wet sand, and even the robbin's egg blue, are the 1950 range of 
stylish tones. 

Where colors are concerned, however^ this srid-century year is to be a 
red, whits, and blue, Spring. A triad of this sort »ay possibly be a marked 
movement of patriotism perhaps a suggestion of the great desirs for peace 
that we American women always have in our hearts, and that we all so strongly 

Noticeably on evening frocks is a large red poppy on the bodice. Gay 

and brilliant hues for lining of coats are favored. 

In the millinery line, Madame* 8 chapeau has breath-taking names, in- 
spired from breakfast food (corn flakss, Rice Krispies) - breakfast straw 

hats, Penny Sailor; but the Bustle back hat is a queer name for the handsome 

soft and charming hat with the wide brim, made of organdy, lacquered felt, 
silk shantung horsehair, etc. They are worn straight on tne head. 

Highly styled shoes are good looking though flat heeled and they are 
decidedly made for comfort. 



mot) boo3 

f £m i (£7 r 


The important event of the Inauguration of President Eisenhower that 
took place in Washington on January 20th gave rise to an unusual interest 
in feminine fashions, because of the desire and also the need of producing 
dramatic, classic, and casual clothes* There are to be so many social 
functions on the calendar for a winter in the American capital* This Momen- 
tous occurrence has created a love for bright hues, which seems to be the 
joyful expression of this great political change* 

As a whole, fashion is charming for Many reasons, having so many kinds 
of interpretation and so much variety in the details and adjuncts. Also, 
in the choice of fabrics, smart and rich looking, are the velvets, the silk 
crepes (though rayon keeps its place in the foreground) . Pure silk has 
appeared on many of our formal and expensive models, but for casual wear, wool 
is classed as a favorite. Mixed wool with aralac (that new soft textile) 
may be classed as a close second for practical daytime dresses, but all new 
materials are fascinating in their lovely new colors, and suppleness. 

An extremely novel feature of the new year is the fact that not only 
Paris and New York are alone in the fashion picture as they used to be, but 
there are actually five other countries involved in the designing field. 
These are the Haute Couture world of Italy, which exist since 1950, when 
she then sent beautiful models to New York; the German Couture, the Swedish 
modes, and even Spain presented charming original styles. One may also 
remember Irish new designs in suits and coats made from her marvelous woolen 
tweeds. Britain, as we know, has been designing attractive tailor-made 
styles since 1941, although the actual launching of real models did not occur 
until a few years after the end of the war. 

The rendez -vous of couturiers in the recent fashion showings in New 
York established quite a precedent, and it is to be presumed that American 
couturiers will again be seen among foreign designers - quite a league of 
nations, one would say. 

However, in the general analysis of winter fashions, three taain factors 
are to be considered, beginning with the silhouette of which there are two 
rery recognizable styles; the close-fitting and slim one that may also be 
called"Tulipe" silhouette (Dior's), so named because of its similarity to 
the open flower on a straight pencil-like stem. This form decidedly made a 
hit at some of the 1953 exhibitions of modelsand the other silhouette with 
the wide spreading full skirt, mostly favored for formal occasions, though 
it is popular oftentimes even for daytime wear. The "melting shoulder", a 
decided step toward the normal old-fashioned shoulder look may be observed 
on both kinds of silhouettes. As for the neckline or decolletage, the 
"Key hole", though not entirely new, is preferred by the younger group, 
while the "plunging neckline" still keeps its prominence for middle age 

Secondly,- the field of trimmings is vast, and fur is in the limelight; 
it is used everywhere, on dresses, on accessories (leopard skin bags), bands 
of mink on frocks and on hats, even on the latest designed bathing suits, 
little ascots, etc. Leather is also used ajid the trend is for tits of 
it on various parts of a costume, on belts, on collars, and especially on 
the tiny chapeau where a quill is made of it to trim the dainty headgear. 
Jewel buttons adorn all kinds of frocks, even the wool and aralac ones. 
Large bows, though modified are most attractive. 

Third - In the color trend pink stays as a favorite (because of our 

First Lady's inaugural gown) among a certain group, but red is emphasized 

cr< Li?: 

by Paris for street wear, and the new name for that tone is Amarylis. 
It is especially observed on the college campus where sweater and skirt 
for* "la toilette populaire" of the college crowd. For color schemes, 
a dominant harmony is the keynote; not so much contrast as in former 
years when complementaries appeared as the highlight of a fashionable 
gown or a suit. 

But this is winter, and the styles of the spring and summer will give 
us prints with entirely different color. schemes. From what we may observe 
now, riots of tones are to be worn in styles of kadame's wardrobe. There 
are, however, at present many very practical points in this winter's 
fashidn scene, though an accent of feminine fascinating beauty remains 
evident, in every model thus exhibited at the numerous style showings. 
Drastic changes do not appear to be evident especially in the standardiz- 
ing of women's clothes. 

We hear "a travers les branches" so many queer i umors about style, 
fashions and women's clothes, but let us not be too much concerned about 
this gossip, although it is interesting to note that there has been a bold 
attempt to standardise women's clothes. What the United States Federal 
Government's Department of Commerce is trying to standardize is not so 
much style or fashion as the important matter of sizes, Briefly, it aims 
at minimizing the amount of time and energy needed for a woman to purchase 
and alter a new dress so that knowing her exact size and the kind of alter- 
ations she usually demands, she will be able to choose her exact fit without 
wasting so many minutes and so much motion trying on dress after dress. 
Experienced couturiers agree, however, that even this is quite beyond the 
male imagination. Standardizing anything in fashion is a delicate matter, 
but whether we like to admit it or not, some parts of our clothing have 

. V I 


already been standardized - - stockings, for instance, whose colors regain 
practically the same year after year, varying in name only 

With June coning, an historic evenfof significance will take place 
and designers have been busy planning stylish original and beautiful clothe 
for many American ladies who will go to England to attend the memorable 
ceremony of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. American clothes, will, 
no doubt, vie with European best models. Many, however, will buy Paris 
gowns which after all do not differ so much from ours. 




The present Mistress of the White House is very good-looking, and 
dresses well "a la node de Paris" where she resided long enough to catch 
the stylish atmosphere of the French Capital, which is also the Capital of 
fashions. However, like the majority of White House Mistresses, she 
selected an American designer who, nevertheless, followed the lines of the 

great couturiers of the Haute Couture of Paris. 

Mrs, Eisenhower's gown was a lovely silk of a most becoming tone called 
"Renoir pink" - a color which was very much in evidence in the paintings of 

the impressionist artist of the late 19th Century, Embroidered with more 

than twenty thousand rhinestones, the pointed bodice fitted closely to her 

figure, was sleeveless, and with a moderately low decolletage, somewhat 

reminiscent of the late nineties. An ex- 
tremely wide skirt, touching the floor and 
without the long train previously seen on 
Inaugural ball gowns of the past, recalled 
a few of the formal gowns exhibited in the 
National Museum, It is to be noted that 
for the first time in history of the White 
House hostesses, Costume jewelry (pearls) 
adorned Mrs, Eisenhower's toilette. 

At present (1953)., her hairdo is the 
becoming one that she chose soon after her re- 
turn from Europe, simple but arranged in good 

taste - a wavy mass of curls smoothly set with 
a little fringe on her forehead. 

This new mistress of the White House was 
the first in that group to w8ar hosiery to 
match the gown she chose for various occasions. 
This style, however, was not generally adopted. 

f r 


The gewn wem by the gracious young ^ueen for the imposing cere- 
mony of her Coronation, may not have been entirely different from the 
current style, that is, where the silhouette was concerned, but the 
design of its trimming, symbolic in nature, was decidedly unique in 

Fashioned of white satin, on princess lines, the royal costume 
was close fitting to the figure, with a neckline almost square over 
the shoulder, terminated in a sweetheart shape, moderately low. The 
sleeves were shorter than elbow length, finished similarly to the 

The full flaring skirt emphasized the note of originality which 
made this gorgeous attire odd by the pattern of its garniture. Em- 
broidered with silver thread and pearls, the eleven different motifs, 
emblems of the nations comprised in the British wapire, practically 
covered the entire wide skirt of the regal gown. 

Hew interesting it must have been to see in that intricate 
needle work the Rose of England,the Thistle of Scotland, the Maple 
Leaf of Canada, the Golden battle of Australia, and even the modest 
plant the Leak of V/ales, etc. The idea of this extraordinary 
embroidery pattern was conceived by Norman Hartnell. 

2/ 3 

r o 

n r 



THE UN(JgRTAlA T TY_0F_19 54 

We hear pf surprising and flattering modes of new lines, new culors, 
new fabrics. So far, however, the most astonishing prediction has 
been that of the flat long waisted silhouette launched by the leading 
designer, Christian Dior, which many have called the H silhouette, or 
again the Torso figure, but whatever the new style for winter or the 
coining Spring may be, every device has been, and still is used by our 
great couturiers, to make women as attractive as pc3sible 

The controversy about skirt lengths continues, and it is doubtful 
if the majority of feminine groups, young, n.iddle-age, or elderly, are 
paying much attention to that detail of a novel creation,, Of course, 
the thrill of fashion is a decisive factor for Madame' s wardrobe, the 
element of surprise or originality (a problem in itself) offers the 
most fascinating of all factors comprising la mode, style or fashion. 
Everyone is thinking of lines. Some couturiers have succeeded in 
presenting in their models, effects of reducing lines, as it were, 
ehether broken or diagonal. The main problem is to be positive of 
the most important factor,- that is, adaptability to the latest silhou- 
ette: l,Age; 2, character; 3, coloring; 4, height. 

The trend of 1954 appears to be a low rounded hip line, high pushed 
up bosom, -in fact, the princess waistline - the slim silhouette trying 
its best to eliminate the wide skirt endorsed by Paris. It is said 
that French designers, anxious to please Americans, try to find young 

girls (mannequins) to look like our young feminine group in order to 

emphasize their models advantage. 


t r- 

Of! II 

11 SI: 

As for fabric interest, there is a great variety of textiles, and 

also ©f mixtures, plaids, soft pin-striped flannels, tweeds, jersey, 

wool combined with cotton. Silk is in the limelight often mixed with 

wool or cotton, it gleams into coats, suits, even bathing suits,, In 

regard to bathing suits, the latest fad is the long sleeved costume 

generally made of wool jersey. Then comes the "sleeper" to be worn on 

an airplane; this garment is actually the last word for comfortable 

snoozing. Fashioned of thin flannel or challis, checked in attractive 

tones, this new kind of attire may be apparently quite chic when belted 

in ready for landing. 

Hues are soft though not exactly pastel shades - caramel is favored, 

and navy blue for a basic color, black a good second, small black and 

white check. The prints are delightful in their small colorful patterns. 

This promises to be a nasturtion year, either conventionalized or in their 

natural shape this small flower is seen a great deal. Still, a great 

couturier chose the lily-of-the-valley for his inspiration, bunches of 

it everywhere on gowns, on coats, even at the waistline. He even goes 

as far as to call the rounded silhouette of 1954 (raised bustline) the 

Lily-of-the-Valley figure. 

A note of interest seems to be in the collarless neckline. The 

loosely fitted jacket with the flat-pleated skirt is extremely popular, 
Preditiens for Fall modes center on jewelry, a variety of rhine- 

stenes, sapphires, rubies 

"Nude shoes" are the latest on the market, favored because of their 

flexibility and practicability. 




*S e£C, W 

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Great joy is in store for those who favor the waistline where it 
really belongs, ar.d that is the future forecast of lnte 1955 and early 
1956 in the Fashion world. 

In spite of the tireless efforts of French and American designers, 
the natureal waistline failed to be eliminated in many of the various 
models that were exhibited at the most exclusive Fashion collections. 

On certain youthful frocks the wide skirt was eminent, and the 
broad effect of the shoulder was emphasized by a puffy sleeve. 

While the suit jackets are rathtr loose fitting and the narrow 
skirt ppoears to be a kind of hobble style, the dresses are close and 
tight fitting with a "jupon" flaring nt the bottom (similar to the 
Spanish flounce of 1906) ; this silhouette is called the "Trumpet". 
It aopears as if our designers were rather musically inclined in selecting 
names of musical instruments. One, no doubt, remembers the "Guitar" line 
of a few years ago. 

The Fsr East influence is quite obvious in the elaborate touches 
of delicate embroideries of motifs adorned with jewels. 

In the field cf classic evening gowns the strapless dress remains the 
number one choice, especially among the younger group. 

There is a model called "Princess Margaret". Its lavish and intri- 
cate style may be the reason, since the very full skirt is trimmed with 
brilliants; the bodice with white mink gives such a creation a decided 
effect of royal grandeur. 

V, bis. 

The rich satins and the lustrous lames often make up the beauty of the 
so called shapeless gowns* There is the smooth and charming broadcloth, also 
tweeds. Speaking of tweeds, there never was such a diversity of patterns ani 
colors. A propos of this unparalleled fabric, one often wonders where the name 
"tweed" comes from. It seems, so the story goes, that about 1826 when the 
Scotch, well-known for their twills (which they spelled "tweels"), sent some of 
that cloth to London. A rather careless clerk received it and wrote the now 
famous name "tweeds" on the invoice for the goods delivered. This apparently 
small error was never corrected ana "tweed" it remains, for which England, 
Scotland, and Ireland, are so well known. 

In the brilliance of Fall fashions, even the French are most enthusiastic 
about this very popular textile which they manipulate cleverly to fit the new 
"allumette" (match) silhouette becomingly, whether it is the heavy English tw^ed 
or the more delicately woven Irish material. Also, in the woolen line, jersey 
mixed with orlon make up in delightful styles in plaited or narrow plain skirts 
worn with charming blouses if unusual original patterns. 

There is a long range of Fall tones. Varied in their values, the grays are 
still chic, while the browns hold a good place in choice. The reds more on the 
orange or the garnet color vary noticeably from the 1954 shades. They are still 
vivid and becoming to all types of femininity. Royal blue has regained its 
spendor, while lemon yellow and pal* blue «re favored for classic evening wear; 
Amethyst hue is occasionally observed at cocktail parties, "probably because of 
its beautiful effect caused by artificial light. 

Everyone loves the beret, but a "chapeau" that seems to please the young 
college group is the "penwiper" small cloche edged with a fringe of the same 
tone. It is so different that it is worn mostly by the so called sophisticated 
type who wishes to be original. It is, of course, a French innovation. 



There are furs to li*e the dressy velvet, and satin cocktail wraps and 
also to be used as trimmings, such as chinchilla which is almost while, ermine 
and blue mink. 

Idademoi sella may now keep her hands warm a s the small round muff called 

jacket fashioned of the new luxuriant fabric "dynei" which is manufactured 
to resemble fur, so comfortable and so much like wool. In rather light 
hues like beige or gray, this outfit should be the keynote of a late Fall 

In the realr. of new coiffures, names are still astonishing; the poodle 
cut of 1953, the poay tail which #• still see, and now we have the atomic 
hair-do that resembles the "chignon a la grecque" often mentioned - this one, 
however, is higher and somewhat di**f e^ent . 

"beer-barrel" has returned to the fashion world. 

It matches a hip length 





3 Y 

IvlARIE eugenie jgbin 




















Suitability in dress differs from Costume Designing which we have 
discussed already at length. That which we call suitability in dress 

way be attained easily whether one buys ready-to-wear clothes or makes 
them herself if one pays attention to these various details involved in 
the matter of what is suited to one's self and the use to which one 
expects to put the garment. 

All phases of fashion are interesting and to discuss the style^ the 
new line, fabrics, colors, and trimmings has an indescribable fascination 
for women, partly perhaps because it challenges her creative instinct and 
partly because of her craving te look as attractive as possible. 

We must admit, however, that although the American woman makes a 
habit of window-shopping, attends fashion thows zealously (often at the 
sacrifice of a matinee or a movie) and pores over fashion magazines, 
nevertheless, she does all this often witheat due regard to what she sees 
in relation to herself. She even does a great deal of indiscriminate 
copying. Yet she could create her gowns herself to harmonize with her 
own personality without too much effort. Today, fortunately, the young 
American girl is beginning t© realize the importance ef that which the 
French mean by their magic little word, chic. 


X S T 

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>IJ\fiI 0X**« ?X« 





Before the two "orld '"ars we :uite often spoke of the French woman 
as the nost stylish and best dressed person in the world; and although she 
cannot now afford to be so smart-looking as formerly, she remains the most 
practical and economical in the matter of clothes. The French working 
girl and the French woman of moderate means may not possess so complete a 
wardrobe as their American friends, and their frocks may even be homemade 
(and generally are), but Parisians know how to glamorize by their strict 
attention to details. They adapt fashion to their particular figure, 
combine colors to harmonize with their special type of complexion, hair and 
eyes, end they never hesitate to add a bit of originality to tieir dresses. 
If the latest print or color differs too conspicuously from that of the 
previous season, as sometimes happens when the new designs have been inspired 
by some current event, perhaps, or a recent art exhibit, then the French 
woman rids herself of last year's creation by the simple device of selling it. 

Of course, it is indeed a problem for any woman, especially of moderate 
means, to know how to dress suitably for all occasions and at all times of 
the day. For the American woman, the very abundance of variety in materials 
and accessories increases her difficulty, but if she would only devote to 
suitability the study it demands, sae could, with her brains and ingenuity, 
set a standard for other women of the world to follow instead of following 

Remember that all details of La Mode are important, not only in 
themselves, but also in their relation to the individual's personality, and 
it is as much a woman's business to dress suitably as it is the designers' 
to create new models. 





/ . 



'"hen the average woman is confronted with the necessity of buying or 
making her wardrobe, what general principles should guide her to assure this 
much desired suitability? The problem is not so simple as merely at random 
to buy or copy the production of some famous designer, for if the dress makes 
the woman, it is equally true that a woman can ruin a dress. The most 
ravishing creation of an internationally-known maker can look cheap and dowdy 
on the wrong type of form, face, or personality and, on the other hand, a 
very ordinary well-made gown can look "simply stunning" on the right woman 
who knows how and when to wear it. 

The guides to suitability lie in these tliree questions: (a) "hot is 
my type of personality? (b) For what am I getting the gown? (c) Can I 
afford it? 

A. Type of personality . To discover your type, have a heart-to-heart talk 
with your mirror and then another with yourself — honest self-analysis, 
in other words. Keep in mind that the four general factors determining 
physical appearance are: (1) Proportions; (2) Coloring; (3) Age; (4) Temperament. 

Proportions . hat are your proportions? Are you tall and slender — 
''skinny' 1 even? Tall and big (Amazonian)? Medium and slender? Medium and fat? 
"Petite "? ''^oly-poly"? Having determined your proportions, ask your mirror about 

2olorin£. Am I a true blonde? Brunette? Red-haired? (Titian)? 
"°latinuro blonde"? Does my complexion "go" with my hair? Am I truly a 
"peaches-and-cream"? Or florid? Or just "fresh" complexioned? Sallow? 
Perennially freckled, maybe? 

Age . And what about my age; do I pass for older or younger than I am? 
Am I young? "Mature?" Middle-aged? Old? To get this answer do not 
question only your face in the mirror but ask your form, also, for age 
publishes itself in form as well as in face. And just as judicious make-up 
can belie Time a little so also can judicious dress conceal somewhat the 
ravages of the years. In parentheses, while we are on this side-talk of 
appearance, ask your mirror whether your features are large or small, 
regular or irregular. Your prettiest feature? What is essential in this 
heart-to-heart talk with the mirror is to be just that - frank . Be wholly 
honest with yourself in classifying your physical appearance. Then, facing 
your "weak points", you can dress to hide them; your "strong points", to 
make capital of them. Finally, we come to Temperament. 

Temperament . Still before your mirror, ask yourself: 'hat really is 
ray temperament? Am I vivacious (lively)? Matter-of-fact? Jolly? Pensive? 
Or just serious? A naturally vivacious woman certainly cannot dress like 
her solemn sister though she may belong to the same physical, category of 
coloring, contour and age. The ingenue of half a century ago and also the 
fat, shapeless, goodnatured motherly soul, have practically disappeared. 
Instead, we have the very much poised, rather sophisticated young person in 
her gay peasant skirt or bright, tailored "shorts" and pretty sweater, and 
the plump, well-girdled, brassiered, correctly-gowned, well-groomed and 
poised matron who proudly admits in an aside that she has five and the oldest 
is working his way through college. Both these types, products of modern 



I Upst^^tro^z e£ <9i-l A^fet-Moo/z. fires \ 


living, have unconsciously evolved a costume suited to their personality, 
and the girl, at least, is much more comfortable tnan was her forbear in 
whalebone "stays" and lacings. 

If personality stamps itself on dress, no less is it true that La Mode 
has an important effect on the wearer. For instance, wiien knee-length 
skirts became fashionable in England an old family butler told his Duchess 
mistress that he could no longer serve her. On being asked why, he answered, 
"I cannot sftow you proper deference in tuat short dress." He was right; 
his lady's commanding dignity had, for him, gone with the discard of the 
long skirt and train. Unwilling to lose her valued butler, the Duchess 
compromised by having 8 long panel added to the back of her frock long 
enough to train slightly. The butler stayed. The Duchess herself related 
this amazing incident. 

7ith regard to this matter of dress as an index to personality, a well- 
known designer once said, !1 Tell me how this person dresses, the color she 
favors, and I shall tell you her character." Apropos color, an artist was 
once asked by a mother what color her daughter should wear to attract men 
(for whether we like to admit it or not, behind our wish to be pleasingly 
dressed is an innate fundamental desire for sex appeal, says the psychologist). 
The artist answered, "Dress her in red." Although this does not mean that 
we should all rush to don red frocks, it is true that warm colors, especially 
those of a reddish cast, affect more powerfully than cold hues. 

But in this matter of type all four characteristics — Proportion, 
Coloring, Age and Temperament — must be considered together if milady would 
master the secret of the "know-how.* 1 For instance, the tall "skinny" girl, 
with an eye to breadth, should choose the oblique and horizontal lines or 
broad vertical lines generally. Even the medium tall girl can carry the 

flamboyant touch better than either her very tall or her too short sister. 
Miss Tall should favor the bateau, square or round, or even a close-fitting 
high neckline, but Miss Roly-poly should keep the V shape as much as possible, 
or the high neckline. The petite person can wear a dominant scheme of 
colors better thsn her sister. In the matter of printed fabrics she should 
confine herself to small designs — conventional flowers, small polka dots, 
squares, circles, etc., but Miss Tall can wear large motifs successfully. 
Coming back to the question of lines, draperies are stunning on the tall 
figure; the short may manage a few graceful folds if in harmony with her 
small form, provided her derriere is not too prominent. frs a matter of 
fact, whether a woman is tall or short, stout or slim, every little detail 
of her costume either adds to, or detracts from her personality. 

The girl with strong, irregular features can carry the tailored style " 
in day wear and pronounced effects in evening frocks with much more eclat, 
i.e., look more what Parisians call distingue than her merely pretty neighbor. 

As for color, always remember that harmony of tones is all-important 
in choosing your costume. (For color-harmony see B»*k One Ch.IX, p. 59). 
If you are making the garment yourself, you have a wide selection of fabric 
and color, but if you are buying it ready-made, you will have to depend on 
mass production. Here it is that one must not be influenced by the in- 
different saleslady whose stock phrase for any and every customer is the 
same: ''This frock does something for you." Perhaps it does — but what? 

So much for Type of p ersonality. Fortunate are you if you are easy 
to classify, because in and between the groups we have described are all 
gradations of type. The wise woman, then, will not only know her type 
but wherein she deviates from it. Summing up, "Know thyself" is an 
absolute essential if one is to make capital of one's personality and 
insure suitability of dress. 







B. What Am I getting the garment For 9 

Now comes the question of why one is getting the dress or suit. Many a 
woman would have saved her husband his dollars and herself tears had she 
settled that question before she caught sight of "such a love of a dress" 
that she bought it on the impulse of the moment with no regard as to whether 
she needed just that kind of gown at that time . The smartly dressed girl 
makes no such mistake. She sees to it that what she has in her wardrobe 
is there because she has real use for it and so it is that she is gowned 
suitably for (1) the time of day, (2) the place, (3) the season of the year 
and the climate, and especially for (4) the event. It is these considerations 
that justify the large wardrobe of the woman of large income. But the woman 
of limited means, who is Mrs. Average '-Toman, can be quite as smartly dressed 
by resorting to the "all-occasion" costume or ensemble that is increasingly 
popular, provided she plans with care. It is here that the matter of 
textile and color combinations loom big (and, as we have said before, acces- 
sories must be in keeping, simply must I ) 

As the basic color of her wardrobe, navy blue is suitable for a blonde 
and brown for a brunette. Black is good for almost all types, but quite 
often has to be relieved by white or a contrasting tone to ha.rmonize with 
the complexion of the wearer. In the case of blonde or Titian-haired types, 
their hair tone being a complement to navy blue and a contrast to black, 
they may wear these basic colors decidedly to advantage. The range of 
hues permissible to a blonde, however, are as wide as 480 tones, whereas the 
brunette has only 370; but the majority of complementaries, both pale and 
dark shades ere for her. The blonde, often considered a cool type because 
of her blue eyes, may favor some warm tints with a complementary cool accent. 
The vivacious person looks well in cool tones with a vivid, up-to-date touch. 




The "Titian" (3>60> colors) or red-haired girl must devote great thought to 
her choice of color. But difficult though she may find it to believe, 
this rare type, the Titian-haired girl, will discover that she can wear 
successfully a range of analogous and dominant shades such as brown, peach 
color, very pale yellow, etc., avoiding warm hues in their full intensity . 
Complementary colors are often stunning, indeed, on the girl of this type 
whose hair compels attention. By her judicious choice of the hues we have 
just mentioned she may even far in attractiveness her sisters of the 
other classifications. Will surpass them, in fact J 

' s for the gray haired matron (with ?.80 colors to choose from) a certain 
amount of conservatism is necessary for her if she wishes to appear at her 
best. Madame with the lovely white or gray waved coiffure can be most 
attractive in warm tones in harmony with her complexion, omitting, however, 
the neutralized dull hues. Basic colors may be black, navy blue, white, 
but seldom brown, especially for the gray hair-do. 

(1) Time of Day . Time of day is especially important in choosing 
colors. The very color itself that is pleasing in daylight may look 
insignificant or ugly, or just different, when evening lights are on; the 
reverse, also, may be true. Fven black and white do not look quite the 
same in both day and evening light. More important still, the tint that 
sets off exquisitely one's complexion, eyes and hair in soft artificial 
light may do ''anything but" in broad daylight. Draping, too, may be used 
more freely for evening wear and for the same reason — difference in light 
affects lines, also. This difference affects even textiles. Velvets and 
chiffon, for instance, are more alluring in artificial light but tweeds and 
rough wools or cottons generally lose much of their subtlety and look duller. 

No less is it true that some individuals themselves appear to much better 
advantage in the daytime ("look prettier"); others, in the evening. Study 
yourself to know in which group you belong and devote the more care in 
choosing garments intended for that time of day which is less favorable to you. 

(2) ^lace . Second only to Time is Place. Are you an urban or a suburban 
dweller? If a suburban or country woman and one to whom sports clothes are 
becoming, your problem is very simple: Keep to them, but avoid extremes or 
eccentricities; if you are not, choose modified sports or loose-fitting suits 
with trim blouses and emphasize the feminine in your accessories. It is to 
be remembered that in the country fashion follows more simple lines than 

in the city. Those few souls in the country who possess courage enough 
to be different from tneir neighbors should realize that socially, extremes 
are fatal* These courageous ones must face the fact that there exists in 
the country a stricter standard of appropriateness than is true in the city, 
hence the rural dweller is more or less obliged to follow whatever styles 
have been approved by the conservative, the elite, of her s r nall community. 
If she keeps this in mind, however, when exercising her urge to be different, 
to be original, she may still dress with as exquisite taste and be as smart- 
looking as her city sister. All that is needed is this restraint in creating 
new effects such as, for instance, a change in color combination, a new neck- 
line, or a belt of odd material, or a sleeve re-cut, or even a gown re-dyed. 
These modified variations from the conventional can enhance considerably her 
personal charm. 

The nut to crack for the city girl is in direct contrast to her country 
cousins. Although she has far more latitude in extremes, she must realize 
that others may favor the same new wrinkle that caught her eye. She should 
therefore plan an original note of some kind if she wishes to be different. 


(3) Sec son end Climate . Both these must be considered. Some women 
look their best in Summer clothes, others in Winter. Are you a Summer girl? 
Then for '"'inter planning select suits with summery-looking blouses or indulge 
in light, fluffy accessories to tne 7'inter dress. Do you live in a damp, 
rainy climate? Key your wardrobe to look "smart" in the rain. Choose 
textiles for their resistance to dampness. What we call "miracle fabrics" 
come into play here, for they are materials that do not need to be ironed or 
pressed. Nor are these textiles exclusively summer-looking any more. 

It is a joy to find that now nylon, orlon, etc., is woven to resemble, and 
very successfully, not only silk but even wool and jersey. Of course, you 
know that cloudy, rainy or snowy weather tends to dull one's appearance, 
and until recently (even now somewhat) storm togs emphasized the dullness. 
Offset this disadvantage by a little dash of bright color, such as a chic bit 
of bright costume jewelry, a vivid scarf, or even a gay little "hankie" 
peeping from the pocket. 

(4) Event or Purpose . Of utmost importance is the purpose or the 
event for which a costume is intended. A woman cannot look"correct" who 
wears no matter what stunning or costly garment if it is not suited to the 
use to which she is putting it. Nor does this mean that to be dressed always 
in good taste she must have a crowded wardrobe and a long purse. Nearly a 
century ago the celebrated artist, Rosa "Bonheur (18P.2-1899) , the first woman 
to be accepted as a. student at the Ecole des Beam: Arts, 'Paris, set the pace 
for simplicity in the unique, comfortable costume which she designed for her- 
self. It met the demands of time, place, season end purpose, consequently, 
whatever the current fa.shion at any time, Fosa Bonheur seemed dressed in good 
taste. Its basic tone was navy blue or black, generally. It consisted of 





a short skirt and a velvet jacket, loose and comfortable, adorned with white 
collar and cuffs. Although her coiffure was a curly bob similar to the 1351 
hair-do, long before women had even dreamed of bobbed hair, she always look- 
ed feminine. 

What we mean here by Event or °urpose is considerably more individual 
than we realize. Suitability for event or purpose in regard to one's own 
costume means: Am T getting this for daily business wear? For a cocktail 
a tea, or is it for Mrs. So-and-so's soiree? Or perhaps just something for 
daily afternoon wear — the pretty frock to don after the day's housework 
or office routine or shopping tour, in which to greet hubby with a smile and 
a f resh-from-the-tub aspect? 

For all of these occasions the "miracle fabrics" of which we have spoken 
are extremely well adapted. If made of nylon or orlon, etc., a formal 
attire is easily packed. Even with the strict four yards wide skirt of to- 
day, the material is easily folded, and when taken out of the suitcase needs 
no pressing. This is a boon to the office girl or teacher or business woman 
who, perhaps, must take her frock with her to work. For such workers, how- 
ever, tne indispensable garment is the three piece "ensemble." Since, today, 
short skirts after five o'clock are not only tolerated, but even stylish, the 
ensemble permits milady to transform the business outfit of the morning into 
a "correct" evening dress by the simple removal of the jacket and a change of 
accessories. As for the required decolletage, even in the office or at 
business our girls do not hesitate to wear the plunging neckline although they 
often prefer the keyhole or of c alia— lily shape, so popular now. Tn any 
case, to be truly useful and at the same time have "an air", both suit and 
blouse should be made of the best materia.1 one can afford, and it should also 
be non-crushable . These two qualities are a must . 

"Afford" brings us to the next, or third and final question, that of the 
budget. , . 




(C) Can I "fford Tt ? That milady pay her respects to the family or 
personal budget is indeed necessary since the price of a govm may cause vast 
difference in one's selection - or should, for peace in the heart and at 
the fireside. It is here assumed that any girl old enough to plan and buy 
her own wardrobe has already learned the A B C of budgeting. The budget, 
therefore, having dictated how much you may safely spend on your new dress 
or suit and its accessories , take a few trips down town to visit tiie most 
select dress shops. Keeping in mind /our physical and temperamental type, 
sketch, or memoriae, the latest silhouette, tiie new line, color, and general 
effect of what you think should be becoming to you . Thus equioped, go next 
to where your purse will stand the prices and try to find a gown or suit 
similar to that shown in the exclusive small shop. It is well to remind 
yourself, however, that you are buying a this year's style and not a last 
year's model Shopping in this manner will talce a little longer, no doubt, 
but where the saving of money is concerned the sacrifice of time is worth 
while, -eraember, also, not to spend all on the dress however great may be 
your temptation because accessories, jewelry and millinery must oe taken 
into account and seldom will all the old accessories fit the new purchase! 
But perhaps you do have on hand some article that will be just the thing to 
go with the new frock. So much the better. Mentally review your possessions. 
If you do have something that may be used effectively, then you may devote 
more attention and more cash to those details that must be bought. 

Good taste itself demands that a woman dress in keeping with her station 
in life and her budget. T^ho has not smiled pityingly at the woman who has 
sunk too large a sum on the expensive fur coat in which she struts, wearing, 
say, shoddy shoes] She is not stylishly dressed because good taste demands 
that the accessories (shoes, gloves, etc.) be in keeping with the main garment, 
and for these she has no dollars left. 




C H A P T ii R TWO 

J _^ __ 1 _ _J jj 







As we have already learned, the silhouette is the most important part 
of a costume. 

A season's silhouette, "the new silhouette" as it is always called, 
will differ from that of the preceding season in some essential structural 
detail. As we have said (See First "art, Ch. X, "Analysis of Style" p. 51) 
the essential details of a silhouette are the skirt, waistline, neckline, 
end sleeve. Once launched, new models are bought by the foremost women's 
clothing houses, particularly of the United States for large sums of money. 

The silhouette is copied, gowns are made with variations and adapta- 
tions of minor details and produced in quantity by dress manufacturers, then 
out on the market. 

For this reason society's elite prefer to patronize the small, exclusive 
shop whose own designer, inspired by the Parisian model, will "create" some- 
thing similar according to the patron's individual taste and figure, ^en so, 
however, the silhouette will not differ from that issued by fashion's famous 

Suitability and Originality in Relation to the Ready-Made Purchase 
Mrs. Average Toman, however, contents herself with purchasing the 
ready-to-wear gowns made by dress manufacturers, knowing that these are 
patterned after the Parisian or New York artists' models reproduced in 


of o*,gi**t few*- 

various hues, with different color arrangements, etc. She is aware that even- 
tually the new silhouette will appear everywhere either in models in shops 
that observe correctly the laws of Unity, Proportion and Emphasis or, in others 
that are mediocre because the garment has been fashioned out of inferior 
materials, etc. 

She should be armed also with the following facts about the manufactured 
gownf After the designer employed by the manufacturing concern has made his 
model which he has adapted from the famous designer's ''new silhouette", he 
cuts it in a perfect size 16 or 18. If the model has made "a hit ".it is then 
graded in different sizes. There are three different kinds of figure to 
which our modern dress manuf e cturers cater to - they are, the tall, the 
medium-sized and the small. They further classify into the following sizes: 
12, 14, 15, 18, viO, ZZ 9 etc., up to 48. Nationally known department stores 
that specialize in feminine wear, include half-sizes, also, in tneir stock. 
Even so, almost always the ready-to-wear dress has to be altered somewhat 
to fit the ourchsser's form correctly. It is said that actually the perfect 
feminine figure does not exist — not even the movie stars whose draw- 
backs are, as a matter of fact, very cleverly hidden by the experts who de- 
sign their costumes. Be sure, then, when buying your frock, to have it 
adjusted to your form in all respects.. 

You ask, if she buys her dress ready made, how can ?,1rs. Average \7oman 
hope to produce any impression of personal originality? Admittedly it will 
have to be on o very limited scale, of course, and will consist chiefly in 
changing a detail such as buttons, or the substitution of some small decora- 
tive motif or other trimming. (See Boole One - Page 69 in which we dis- 
cuss this matter more fully.) Her other means, and very effective, is in 
choosing her accessories with discrimination. It is comforting to keep in 




mind, moreover, that manufacturers make only a relatively limited quantity 
of any given style, and since these are sent all over the country, no one 
realizes, nor do we, that we are buying a mass production frock unless, 
as occasionally happens, alas J we meet someone gowned exactly like ourselves. 
It is to forestall this calamity that we go to the trouble of making some 
slight change that will give the stamp of much desired originality, or even 
do our own designing in relation to that new silhouette. 

Suitability in Designing a Costume for One [ s -elf 

We hear that there are approximately more than 26,000,000 sewing 
machines in the United States and that about 90% of our feminine population 
do some kind of sewing. For instance, the young married woman in moderate 
circumstances, mother of two or three youngsters, cannot afford ready-to-wear 
clothes, so she takes a course in costume designing in class or by book 
(if she has not already done this in high school). In fact, home dressmaking 
is becoming so universal that contests for original and well-made garments 
are quite often held to encourage the amateur. 

The commercial paper pattern (invented by Mrs. Ebenezer Buttrick in 1853) 
is undoubtedly a very great help to the amateur fashioner of frocks who will 
make the needful changes to satisfy her urge for originality. Of course, 
the experienced designer will draft her own pattern, which is bound to be more 
satisfactory. As for that matter, any woman who knows the A 3 C of cutting 
and making a dress can design for herself an original frock if she follows 
the general laws of construction — T Jnity, Proportion, Emphasis — a.nd the 
fundamental rules of Art — Harmony, Balance, Sequence in relation to both 
line and color. First, she must be willing, as we said in Booh- Out. "hap. X.. 
to do the little preliminary scouting. 


Assuming that milady does know the fl B C of dressmaking, and that she 
i3 keeping in mind the purpose of her gown-to-be, let us review the steps she 
will now take. '"ith pencil and notepad in hand she will make the rounds 
of the representative high-grade dress shops. She will analyze the models 
of the "new silhouette" till sne has become thoroughly acquainted with it, 
wherein its newness lies and how it is achieved; its lines, color, tint, etc.; 
the kind of material used in its construction; she will even cast an apprais- 
ing eye on the accessories used to complete the fashion figure, the dummy, 
displaying it. From tne rough sketches and notes she has taken, she will 
develop the sketch. 

In adopting wholly, or adapting, perhaps, the current fashion to her 
own personality, milady will have taken into consideration the question of 
those lines, for this is of prime importance. More, she will not forget 
that a garment to be beautiful, to be "correct", must have both harmony and 
balance in color as well as in line, and she will remember also that there 
will be greater emphasis on the one or the other depending largely on the 
current style. This is why sne must not only study the style as a whole, 
but then analyse its structural parts: (skirt, sleeve, waist, neckline). 
Having decided what part of the fashionable frock will be most becoming 
to her own type of physical personality, the next thing will be to plan the 
rest of the garment in conformity with that chosen part in order to observe 
that law of unity which is necessary to produce the artistic whole. Surely 
the lady's knowledge of Emphasis in artistic production will safeguard her 
in her zeal for originality from attempting too many Original touches on the 
one dress. One, or at most two, suffices; each additional "touch" detracts 
from the others. These various points considered and decided upon, she is 
now ready for the actual construction of her dress which is taken up in the 
next Chapter. 








Copy from a magazine a pleasing figure and sketch on it a perfectly plain 
slio; or, draw a lay figure by measurements. Make this sketch about ten 
inches long. Dash off at least twenty of these small sketches - figures 
only - as illustrations show. 

Analyze half a dozen present-day illustrations in newspaper advertise- 
ments or fashion magazines of garments similar to the one you plan. 
Also, get out some historical fashion plates from which to draw inspiration, 
but do not copy it exactly. Begin at the neckline. Decide on the kind - 
square, round, etc., but add an extra line or point somewhere, to have it 
different from any of the illustrations. Then make ten or more quick 
sketches, about three or four inches long of the entire bodice. It 
should be in the current style generally. On these sketches experiment 
with your neckline detail until you have achieved one that is pleasing 
and that you do not recall having seen elsewhere. This little change 
alone will give the bodice an air of originality. With regard to the 
sleeves, also should be in the current style, a little piece cut 
out or added to the top or the bottom of them will augment the "new look". 
Once having decided upon the bodice, sketch next the entire garment, 
choosing a pretty present-day skirt slightly altering or adapting it from 
your historical plates. 


3. After you have drawn this figure roughly in black and white, consider 
/our trimming. Notice the current general trend of garniture. Hand- 
work of any kind is always sure to give a touch of personality. If 
embroidery is fashionable, get your inspiration from the historical 
ornaments of some foreign country in the limelight for the moment. 
Try, however, to place the motif or design where you have never seen 

it before. Tucks of all sorts and sizes are also decorative. Pin 
tucks in clusters may prove to be an original touch if arranged in a 
design of some kind (see illustration). Needless to say, the foundation 
material of the dress will determine largely your trimming. 

4. Material ; Textile will not show up much upon a rough sketch, but its 
influence upon the finished product is so great that the correct choice 
of material is a must in the strict sense of the word. For this reason, 
place different samples on your several sketches and devote time enough 

in considering them to judge well wnich is the best for the frock in 
question, always bearing in mind that your garment must be not only 
original in appearance, but beautiful in effect. To make sure of this, 
take your one or two preferred samples and on your sketches imitate 
them closely by means of water colors. 

5. This brings us to the next consideration. Color : If possible, it 
should be chosen from one of the new shades launched under appropriate 
names each season by clothes designers. Remembering that contrasts 
are most effective, and having decided on the basic color of the gown, 
choose harmonious tones from the color schemes in vogue for the trimmings. 
Although those color combinations nearly always come from "°aris, beauti- 
ful ones are also created by our New York designers. Keep in mind 

that in general complementary and contrasted harmonies are nearly always 

used in Spring and Summer; analogous and dominant schemes in the Fall 

and -'inter. For evening wear, non-color and metal combinations are 
appropriate at all times. . « 




General pointers for the student aspiring to design original creations: 
l a Visit the most expensive shops at least once a week, you ma/ thus observe 
enough to find inspiration for your next creations. 

2. Attend fashion shows, carry your pencil and sketch pad and write the 
colors as illustrations show. 

3. Learn to memorise colors, but practice and experimenting will do a great deal. 

4. ^emember that color arrangements for mass production differ from those 
for individuals, consequently in °aris, designers work for individuals, 
whereas in New York they aim at mass production. 

TJQTff to designers for Mass Production ; 

Remember that no one, no matter how good a designer he or she may be, 
dares to launch an entirely different silhouette from the one or ones 
(sometimes there are two contrasting silhouettes, a narrow and a wide, as 
we had in the Spring of 1953) that have been dictated for the season by 
Paris or New York. The concern of the big commercial or elite shop 
designer is to try to make attractive iiiinor changes with new and different 
materials and colors, using their ingenuity to effect seemingly ''new wrinkles." 

In mass production an important matter to consider is Cost. However 
reckless the home dressmaker may be with her scissors and cloth, in mass 
production no material may be wasted. 7'hen designing a model which is to 
be copied in thousands, perhaps, designers must be careful of this item if 
they wish the manufacturer to accept their models. That which among small 
dressmakers is called ''waste bits" cannot be tolerated in a factory. The 
manufacturer will expect these small parings to be as few as possible and 
those which are, to be utilized either in the making of buttons or for 
binding, etc., for other models. This is true especially in the case, 
for instance, of two dresses being designed at tha sajne time out of different 
materials, the "waste bits" of one gown being used as a trimming on the other. 
Such wise economy on the part of tne designer is of great importance to the 






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